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I « « 




19 19 







^'■^X iV'i 



Printed in the U. S. A. 



Notes and Explanations ziii 


, I Background 1 ' 

/ II The Comino Storm 17 

ObPOnthbEvb 42 

'; npTHE Fall op the Provisional Government . . 74 

V Plunging Ahead 112 

VI The Committee for Salvation 147 

VII The Revolutionary Front 172 

VIII Counter-Revolution 198 

IX Victory 218 

^X Moscow 243 

XI The Conquest of Power 260 

Xn The Peasants' Congress 293 

Affendigss 9 • • • • 280 


Lenine Frontispiece 



schreideb 40 

Council of the Russian Republic 56 

Terestchenko 72 

Smolny Institute 88 

podvoisky 120 

Ked Guards in Front of Smolny 136 

Kerensky Reviewing His Forces 168 

Leon Trotzky 184 

Outdoor Meeting in Petrograd 208 

Smolny Institute During the Insurrection .... 224 

Trotzky's Door in Smolny Institute 232 

a. lunatcharsky 248 

A Bolshevik Demonstration 272 

Group of Left Socialist Revolutionary Leaders . . 296 

Cartoon From Novy Satirikon 312 


This book is a slice of intensified history — ^history as I 

saw it. It does not pretend to be anything but a detailed 

account of the November Revolution, when the Bolsheviki, 

at the head of the workers and so ldiers, seized the state power 

of Russia and placed it in the hands of the Soviets. 
" * — ■ ■ ■■ 

Naturally most of it deals with **Red Petrograd," the cap- 
ital and heart of the insurrection. But the reader must real- 
ize that what took place in Petrograd was almost exactly 
duplicated, with greater or lesser intensity, at different inter- i 
vals of time, all over Russia. 

In this book, the first of several which I am writing, I must 
confine myself to a chronicle of those events which I myself 
observed and experienced, and those supported by reliable evi- 
dence; preceded by two chapters briefly outlining the back- 
ground and causes of the November Revolution. I am aware 
that these two chapters make difficult reading, but they are 
essential to an understanding of what follows. 

Many questions will suggest themselves to the mind of the 
reader. What is Bolshevism? What kind of a governmental 
structure did the Bolsheviki set up? If the Bolsheviki cham- 
pioned the Constituent Assembly before the November Revo- 
lution, why did they disperse it by force of arms afterward? 
And if the bourgeoisie opposed the Constituent Assembly until 
the danger of Bolshevism became apparent, why did they 
champion it afterward? 

These and many other questions cannot be answered here. 
In another volume, "Komilov to Brest-Litovsk," I trace the 
course of the Revolution up to and including the German 



peace. There I explain the origin and functions of the 
Revolutionary organisations, the evolution of popular senti- 
ment, the dissolution of the Constituent Assembly, the structure 
of the Soviet state, and the course and outcome of the Brest- 
Litovsk negotiations. • • • 
/ In considering the rise of the Bolsheviki it is necessary 
/ to understand that Russian economic life and the Russian 
army were not disorganised on November 7th, 1917, but 
many months before, as the logical result of a process which 
began as far back as 1916. yThe corrupt reactionaries in con- 
trol of the Tsar's Court deliberately undertook to wreck Russia 
in order to make a separate peace with Grermany^ The lack 
of arms on the front, which had caused the great retreat of the 
summer of 1915, the lack of food in the army and in the great 
cities, the break-down of manufactures and transportation in 
1916 — all these we know now were part of a gigantic campaign 
of sabotage. This was halted just in time by the March 

For the first few months of the new regime, in spite of 
the confusion incident upon a great Revolution, when one 
hundred and sixty millions of the world's most oppressed 
peoples suddenly achieved liberty, both the internal situation 
and the combative power of the army actually improved. 

But the *Tioneymoon" was short. The propertied classes 
wanted merely a political revolution, which would take the 
power from the Tsar and give it to them. They wanted Rus- 
sia to be a constitutional Republic, like France or the United 
States; or a constitutional Monarchy, like England. On the 
other hand, the masses of the people wanted real industrial 
and agrarian democracy. 

William English Walling, in his book, ^'Russia's Message," 
an account of the Revolution of 1906, describes very well the 
state of mind of the Russian workers, who were later to sup- 
port Bolshevism almost unanimously: 


Thej (the working people) saw it was possible that even under 
a fiee Government^ if it fell into the hands of other social classes^ 
they might still continue to starve. . . . 

The Russian workman is revolutionary^ but he is neither vio- 
lent^ dogmatic^ nor unintelligent. He is ready for barricades^ 
but he has studied them^ and alone of the workers of the world he 
has learned about them from actual experience. He is ready and 
willing to fight his oppressor^ the capitalist class^ to a finish. But 
be does not ignore the existence of other classes. He merely asks 
that the other classes take one side or the other in the bitter 
conflict that draws near. . • . 

They (the workers) were all agreed that our (American) polit- 
ical institutions were preferable to their own^ but they were not very 
anxious to exchange one despot for another (i.e.^ the capitalist 
class). . . . 

The workingmen of Russia did not have themselves shot down^ 
executed by hundreds in Moscow^ Riga and Odessa^ imprisoned by 
thousands in every Russian jail^ and exiled to the deserts and the 
arctic regions^ in exchange for the doubtful privileges of the 
workingmen of Goldfields and Cripple Creek. . . . 


And so developed in Russia, in the midst of a foreign war, 
the Social Revolution on top of the Political Revolution, cul- 
minating in the triumph of Bolshevism. 

Mr. A. J. Sack, director in this country of the Russian 
Information Bureau, which opposes the Soviet Government, has 
this to say in his book, **The Birth of the Russian Democracy" : 

.The Bolsheviks org ani sed their own cabinet^ with Nicholas 
L.enine as Premier and Leon Trotsky — Minister of Foreign Affairs . 
The inevitability of their coming into power became evident almost 
immediately after the March Revolution. The history of the Bolshe- 
vik!, after the Revolution^ is 'a history of their steady growth. . . . 

Foreigners, and Americans especially, frequently empha- 
sise the *4gnorance" of the Russian workers. It is true they 
lacked the political experience of the peoples of the West, but 


they were very well trained in voluntary organisation. In 
1917 there were more than twelve million members of the Russian 
consumers' Cooperative societies; and the Soviets themselves 
are a wonderful demonstration of their organising genius. 
Moreover, there is probably not a people in the world so well 
educated in Socialist theory and its practical application. 
William English Walling thus characterises them: 

The Russian working people are for the most part able to read 
and write. For many years the country has been in such a dis- 
turbed condition that they have had the advantage of leadership not 
only of intelligent individuals in their midst^ but of a large part of 
the equally revolutionary educated class^ who have turned to the 
working people with their ideas for the political and social regen- 
eration of Russia. • • . 

Many writers explain their hostility to the Soviet Gov- 
ernment by arguing that the last phase of the Russian Revo- 
lution was simply a struggle of the "respectable'' elements 
against the brutal attacks of Rolshevism. However, it was 
the propertied classes, who, when they realised the growth in 
power of the popular revolutionary organisations, undertook 
to destroy them and to halt the Revolution. To this end the 
propertied classes finally resorted to desperate measures. In 
order to wreck the Kerensky Ministry and the Soviets, trans- 
portation was disorganised and internal troubles provoked ; to 
crush the Factory-Shop Committees, plants were shut down, 
and fuel and raw materials diverted; to break the Army Com- 
mittees at the front, capital punishment was restored and 
military defeat connived at. 

This was all excellent fuel for the Bolshevik fire. The 
Bolsheviki retorted by preaching the class war, and by assert- 
ing the supremacy of the Soviets. 

Between these two extremes, with the other factions which 
whole-heartedly or half-heartedly supported them, were the 
so-called "moderate" Socialists, the Mensheviki and Socialist 


Revolutionaries, and several smaller parties. Tliese groups 
were also attacked by the propertied classes, but their power 
of resistance was crippled by their theories. 

Rouyhly^ t he Mensheviki and Socialist Revolutionaries 

believed that RiiHaifl. wrh not ^^pTippiically ripe for a aoc^al 
revolution— that only a political revolution was possiUe. 
According to their interpretation, the Russian masses were not 
educated enough to take over the power; any attempt to do so 
would inevitably bring on a reaction, by means of which some 
ruthless opportunist might restore the old regime. And so it 
followed that when the "moderate" Socialists were forced to 
assume the power, they were afraid to use it. 

They believed that Russia must pass through the stages 
of political and economic development known to Western 
JBurope, and emerge at last, with the rest of the world, 
into full-fledged Socialism. Naturally, therefore, they agr eed 
with the propertied classes that Russia must fiig t be a parlia^ 
mentarv_ sta te — ^though with some improvements^ on the West- 
em democracies. As a consequence, they insisted upon the 
collaboration of the propertied classes in the Government. 

From this it was an easy step to supporting them. The 
**moderate'' Socialists needed the bourgeoisie. But the bour- 
geoisie did not need the "moderate'* Socialists. So it resulted 
in the Socialist Ministers being obliged to give way, little by 
little, on their entire program, while the propertied classes 
grew more and more insistent. 

And at the end, when the Bolsheviki upset the whole hoUow 
compromise, the Me nsheviki and Socialist Revolutionaries 
found themselves fighting qr\ thp siHp of f he prop e rtied classes . 
... In almost every country in the world to-day the same phe- 
nomenon is visible. 

Instead of being a destructive force, it seems to me that 
the Bolsheviki were the only party in Russia with a construc- 
tive program and the power to impose it on the country. If 


they had not succeeded to the Government when they did, 
there is little doubt in my mind that the armies of Imperial 
Germany would have been in Petrograd and Moscow in De- 
" cember, and Russia would again be ridden by a Tsar. . . . 

It is still fashionable, after a whole year of the Soviet 
Government, to speak of the Bolshevik insurrection as an 
"adventure." Adventure it was, and one of the most marvel- 
lous mankind ever embarked upon, sweeping into history at 
the head of the toiling masses, and staking everything on their 
vast and simple desires. Alreadv the machinery had bee n 
set up b y which the land of the great estates could bj SL-dig- 
tributed among the peasants. Th e Factor y- Shop Committees 
and the Trade Unions were there to put into operation 
workers^ control of industry . In every village, town, city, 
district and province there were Soviets of Workers', Soldiers' 
and Peasants' Deputies, prepared to assume the task of local 

No matter what one thinks of Bolshevism, it is undeniable 
that the Russian Revolution is one of the great events of 
human history, and the rise of the Bolsheviki a phenomenon 
of world-wide importance. Just as historians search the rec- 
ords for the minutest details of the story of the Paris Com- 
mune, so they will want to know what happened in Petrograd 
in November, 1917, the spirit which animated the people, and 
how the leaders looked, talked and acted. It is with this in 
view that I have written this book. 

In the struggle my sympathies were not neutral. But in 
. telling the story of those great days I have tried to see events 
with the eye of a conscientious reporter, interested in setting 
down the truth. 

J* R» 

New York, January Ist, 1919. 


To the average reader the multiplicity of Russian organisa- 
tions — apolitical groups, Conunittees and Central Committees, 
Soviets, Dumas and Unions— will prove extremely confusing. 
For this reason I am giving here a few brief definitions and 


In the elections to the Constituent Assembly, there were 
seventeen tickets in Fetrograd, and in some of the provincial 
towns as many as forty; but the following summary of the 
aims and composition of political parties is limited to the 
groups and factions mentioned in this book. Only the essence 
of their programmes and the general character of their con- 
stituencies^csiLbe noticed. . . . 

1. (Moniifclmf^^ of various shades, OctobristSj etc. These 
once-powerful factions no longer existed openly; they either 

* . - ' * 

worked underground, or their members joined theiCadetSf as 
the Cadets o^fOcLe by degt'ees to stand for their political pro- 
gramme. Representatives in this book, <^^odzianko, Shulgin/ 

2. Cadets. So-called from the initials of its name, 
Constitutional Democrats. Its ofScial name is *Tarty of the 
People's Freedom." Under the Tsar composed of Liberals ; 
from the propertied classes, the Cadets were the great party _ .1 
jqf f<?UHral T^frrwy roughly corresponding to the Frogressive i 
Farty in America, ^^en the Revolution broke out in March, 
1917, the Cadets formed the first Frovisional Government. 
The Cadet Ministry was overthrown in April because it de- 
clared itself in favour of Allied imperialistic aims, including the 


imperialistic aims of the Tsar's Govenmient. As the Revolu- 
tion became more and more a social economic Revolution, the 
Cadets grew more and mnre con serYati ve^.^ Its representatives 
in this book areOiiliukov. Vinaver. Shatskv. 

2a. ""G^oiip of Pvhlic Men.^Aiitv the Cadets had be- 
come unpopuIaF fhfbugh iHeir relations with the Komilov 
counter-revolution, the Group of Public Men was formed in 
Moscow. Delegates from the Group of Public Men were 
given portfolios in the last Kerensky Cabinet. The Group 
declared itself non-partisan, although its intellectual leaders 
were men like Rodzianko and Shulgin. It was composed of 
the more "modem'' bankers, merchants and manufacturers, 
who were intelligent enough to realise that the Soviets must 
be fought by their own weapo^^^eeonomic organisation. 

Typical of the GfYmpSjLei^^zov, Konovalov.y 

8. y^PopuUsi SocialistsT^^^ TrudovikJ ^Labour Group). 
Numerically a smatt jrarty, composed of cautious intellectuals, 
the leaders of the Cooperative societies, and conservative peas- 
ants. Professing to be Socialists, the Populists really sup- 
ported the interests of the petty bourgeoisie — clerks, shop- 
keepers, etc. By direct descent, inheritors of the compromis- 
ing tradition of the Labour Group in the Fourth Imperial 
Duma, which was composed largely of peasant representatives. 
Kerensky was the leader of the Trudoviki in the Imperial 
Duma when the Revolution of March, 1917, broke out. The 
Populist Socialists are a nationalistic party. Their repre- 
sentatives in this book are : Peshekhanov^ Tchaikovsky. 

4. Russian Social Democratic Labour Pnnrty. Originally 
Marxian Socialists. At a party congress held in 1903, the 
party split, on the question of tactics, into two factions — the 
Majority (Bolshinstvo), and the Minority (Menshinstvo;. 
From this sprang the names **Bolsheviki" and "Mensheviki" — 
"members of the majority" and "members of the minority." 
These two wings became two separate parties, both calling 


themselves ^^ussian Social Democratic Labour Party,*? and 
both professing to be Marxians. Since the Revolution of 
1905 the Bolsheviki were really the minority, becoming again 
the majority in Sep tember, 1917. 

9L.(^^e7h8heviki) This party mcludes all shades of Social- 
ists who believe that society must progress by natural evolu- 
tion toward Socialism, and that the working-class must con- 
quer political power first. Also a nationalistic party. This 
was the party of the Socialist intellectuals, which means: all 
the means of education having been in the hands of the 
propertied classes, the intellectuals instinctively reacted to 
their training, and took the side of the propertied classes. 
Among^ their representatives in this book are: Dan, Lieber, 

b. \Jifensheviki IntemationaUsts. The radical wing of the 
Menshernki^'^inbeTnii^TaLlidts and opposed to all coalition with 
the propertied classes; yet unwilling to break loose from the 
conservative Mensheviki, and opposed to the dictatorship of 
the working-class advocated by the Bolsheviki. Trotzky was 
long a member of this group. Among their leaders : Martov,^ 
Martinov. .^ 

c. Bolsheviku iiow caU themselves the CoTonmnist Party, 
in order— to emphasise their complete separation from the 
tradition of "moderate" or "parliamentary" Socialism, 
which dominates the Mensheviki and the so-called Majority 
Socialists in all countries. The Bolsheviki proposed immediate 
proletQirian insurrection, and seizure of the reins of Govern- 
ment, in order to hasten the coming of Socialism by forcibly 
taking over industry, land, natural resources and financial 
institutions. This party expresses the desires chiefly of the 
factory workers, but also of a lisirge section of the poor 
peasants. The name "Bolshevik" can not be translated by 
'Maximalist." The Maximalists are a separate group. (See 


paragraph 6b). Among the leaders: Lenin, Trotzky, Lunat- 

d. United Social Democrats Internationalists. Also called 
the Novaya Zhizn (New Life) group, from the name of the 
very influential newspaper which was its organ. A little group 
of intellectuals with a very small following among the working- 
class, except the personal following of Maxim Gorky, its 
leader. Intellectuals, with almost the same programme as the 
Mensheviki Internationalists^ except that the Novaya Zhizn 
group refused to be tied to either of the two great factions. 
Opposed the Bolshevik tactics, but remained in the Soviet 
Government. Other representatives in this book: Avilov, 

e. Yedvnstvo. A very small and dwindling group, com- 
posed almost entirely of the personal following of Plekhanov, 
one of the pioneers of the Russia n Socia l Democratic movement 
in the 80's, and its gTCftWSt*theoreticiflln^\Now an old man, 
Plekhanov was exjii^raiely patriotic, too conservative even for 
the Menshevikir After the Bolshevik coup d^etat^ Yedvnstvo 

5. Socialist Revolutionary party. Called Essaires from 
t^e initials of their name. Originally the revolutionary party 
the peasants, the party of the Fighting Organisations — ^the 
irrorists. After the March Revolution, it wa» joined by 
m4ny who had never beei^^'^ocialists. At that time it stood 
forVhe abolition of njrtvate property in land only, the owners 
to beS50inpens^i«tI in some fashion. Finally the increasing 
revolutionary feeling of peasants forced the Essaires to 
abandon the "compensation" clause, and led to the younger 
and more fiery intellectuals breaking off from the main 
party in the fall of 1917 and forming a new party, the 
Left Socialist Revolutionary party. The Essaires, who were 
afterward always called by the radical groups **Right Socialist 
Revolutionaries/* adopted the political attitude of the Men- 


sheviki, and worked together with them. They finally came to 
represent the wealthier peasants, the intellectuals, and the 
politically uneducated populations of remote rural districts. 
Among them there was, however, a wider difference of shades 
of political and economic opinion than among the Mensheviki. 
Among their leaders mentioned in these pages: Avksentiev, 
Gotz, K^jmrakyr Tcherfiov, "Babuscfika^l Breshkovskaya. 

(i. Left Socialist Revolutionaries.^^ Although theoretically 
shanng tlie ilolshevik programme of dictatorship of the work- 
ing-class, at first were reluctant to follow the ruthless Bol- 
shevik tactics. However, the Left Socialist Revolutionaries re- 
mained in the Soviet Government, sharing the Cabinet port- 
folios, especially that of Agriculture. They withdrew from the 
Gk)vemment several times, but always returned. As the peas- 
ants left the ranks of the Essaires in increasing numbers, they 
joined the Left Socialist Revolutionary party, which became 
the great peasant party supporting the Soviet Government, 
standing for confiscation without compensation of the great 
landed estates, and their disposition by the peasants themselves. 
Among the leaders: Spiridonova, Karelin, Kamkov, Kala- 

b. Maanmalists. An off-shoot of the Socialist Revolution- 
ary party in the Revolution of 1905, when it was a powerful 
peasant movement, demanding the immediate application of 
the maximum Socialist programme. Now an insignificant 
group of peasant anarchists. 


Russian meetings and conventions are organised after the 
continental model rather than our own. The first action is 
usually the election of officers and the presidiwm. 

The presidium is a presiding committee, composed of 
representatives of the groups and political factions repre- 
sented in the assembly, in proportion to their numbers. The 


presidium arranges the Order of Business^ and its members can 
be called upon by the President to take the chair pro tern. 

Each question (vopros) is stated in a general way and 
then debated, and at the close of the debate resolutions are 
submitted by the different factions, and each one voted on 
separately. The Order of Business can be, and usually is, 
smashed to pieces in the first half hour. On the plea of 
**emergency," which the crowd almost always grants, anybody 
from the floor can get up and say anything on any subject. 
The crowd controls the meeting, practically the only functions 
of the speaker being to keep order by ringing a little bell, and 
to recognise speakers. Almost all the real work of the session 
is done in caucuses of the different groups and political fac- 
tions, which almost always cast their votes in a body and are 
represented by floor-leaders. The result is, however, that at 
every important new point, or vote, the session takes a recess 
to enable the different groups and political factions to hold a 

The crowd is extremely noisy, cheering or heckling speak- 
ers, over-riding the plans of the presidium. Among the cus- 
tomary cries are: **Prosimt Please! Go on!" **Pravilnor* 
or "JB^o viernof That's true ! Right !" "Do volno! Enough !" 
^'Doloil Down with him I" ''Posort Shame !" and ^'Teesche! 
Silence ! Not so noisy !'* 


1. Soviet. The word soxAet means "council." Under the 
Tsar the Imperial Council of State was c^MeAGosudarstvewiiyi 
Soviet. Since the Revolution, however, the term Soviet has 
come to be associated with a certain type of parliament elected 
by members of working-class economic organisations — the 
Soviet of Workers*, of Soldiers', or of Peasants* Deputies. I 
have therefore limited the word to these bodies, and wherever 
else it occurs I have translated it ^^Council.** 


Besides the local Soviets^ elected in every city, town and 
village of Russia — and in large cities, also Ward (Raionny) 
Soviets — ^there are also the oblastne or gubiernsky (district 
or provincial) Soviets^ and the Central Executive Committee 
of the All-Russian Soviets in the capital, called from its initials 
Tsay-ee-kah. (See below, "Central Committees"). 

Almost everywhere the Soviets of Workers' and of Soldiers' 
Deputies combined very soon after the March Revolution. In 
special matters concerning their peculiar interests, however, the 
Workers' and tht; Soldiers' Sections continued to meet sep- 
arately. The Soviets of Peasants' Deputies did not join the 
other two until after the Bolshevik coup d^etat. They, too, 
were organised like the workers and soldiers, with an Execu- 
tive Committee of the AU-Russian Feasants' Soviets in the 

2. Trade Unions. Although mostly industrial in form, 
the Russian labour unions were still called Trade Unions, 
and at the time of the Bolshevik Revolution had from three 
to four million members. These Unions were also organised 
in an All-Russian body, a sort of Russian Federation of 
Labour, which had its Central Executive Committee in the 

3. Factory-Shop Committees, These were spontaneous 
organisations created in the factories by the workers in their 
attempt to control industry, taking advantage of the adminis- 
trative break-down incident upon the Revolution. Their 
function was by revolutionary action to take over and 
run the factories. The Factory-Shop Committees also had 
their All-Russian organisation, with a Central Committee at 
Petrograd, which co-operated with the Trade Unions. 

4. Dwmas. The word duma means roughly "deliberative 
body." The old Imperial Duma, which persisted six months 
after the Revolution, in a democratised form, died a natural 
death in September, 1917. The City Duma referred to in this 


book was the reorganised Municipal Council, often called 
"Municipal Self-Government." It was elected by direct and 
secret ballot, and its only reason for failure to hold the masses 
during the Bolshevik Revolution was the general decline in in- 
fluence of all purely political representation in the fact of 
the /Bfrowing power of organisations based on economic groups. 
6. Zemstvos. May be roughly translated **county coun- 
cils." Under the Tsar semi-political, semi-social bodies with 
very little administrative power, developed and controlled 
largely by intellectual Liberals among the land-owning classes. 
Their most important function was education and social service 
among the peasants. During the war the Zemstvos gradually 
took over the entire feeding and clothing of the Russian Army, 
as well as the buying from foreign countries, and work among 
the soldiers generally corresponding to the work of the Ameri- 
can Y. M. C. A. at the Front. After the March Revolution 
the Zemstvos were democratized, with a view to making them 
the organs of local government in the rural districts. But like 
the City Dumas, they could not compete with the Soviets. 

6. Cooperatives. These were the workers' and peasants' 
Consumers' Cooperative societies, which had several million 
members all over Russia before the Revolution. Founded by 
Liberals and **moderate" Socialists, the Cooperative move- 
ment was not supported by the revolutionary Socialist groups, 
because it was a substitute for the complete transference of 
means of production and distribution into the hands of the 
workers. After the March Revolution the Cooperatives spread 
rapidly, and were dominated by Populist Socialists, Mensheviki 
and Socialist Revolutionaries, and acted as a conservative 
political force until the Bolshevik Revolution. However, it 
was the Cooperatives which fed Russia when the old structure 
of commerce and transportation collapsed. 

7. Army Committees. The Army Committees were formed 
by the soldiers at the front to combat the reactionary in- 


fluence of the old regime officers. Every company, regimenf , 
brigade, division and corps had its committee, over all of which 
waa elected the Army Committee. The Central Army Commit- 
tee cooperated with the G^eral Staff. The administrative 
break-down in the army incident upon the Revolution threw 
upon the shoulders of the Army Committees most of the work 
of the Quartermaster's Department, and in some cases, even 
the conmiand of troops. 

8. Fleet C(nMnitteei. The corresponding organisations in 
the Navy. 


In the spring and summer of 1917, All-Russian conven- 
tions of every sort of organisation were held at Petrograd. 
There were national congresses of Workers', Soldiers' and 
Peasants' Soviets, Trade Unions, Factory-Shop Committees, 
Army and Fleet Committees — ^besides every branch of the mili- 
tary and naval service. Cooperatives, Nationalities, etc. 
Each of these conventions elected a Central Committee, 
or a Central Executive Committee, to guard its particular in- 
terests at the seat of Government. As the Provisional Gov- 
ernment grew weaker, these Central Committees were forced 
to assume more and more administrative powers. 

The most important Central Committees mentioned in this 
book are: 

Union of Unions, During the Revolution of 1905, Pro- 
fessor Miliukov and other Liberals established unions of pro- 
fessional men — doctors, lawyers, physicians, etc. These were 
united under one central organisation, the Union of Unions. 
In 1905 the Union of Unions acted with the revolutionary 
democracy; in 1917, however, the Union of Unions opposed 
the Bolshevik uprising, and united the Government employees 
who went on strike against the authority of the Soviets. 

Tsay-ee-kah. All-Russian Central Executive Committee of 


the Soviets of Workers' and Soldiers' Deputies. So called from 
the initials of its name. 

Tsentroflot. "Centre-Fleet"— the Central Fleet Commit- 

VikzheL All-Russian Central Committee of the Railway 
Workers' Union. So called from the initials of its name. 


Red Guards. The armed factory workers of Russia. 
The Red Guards were first formed during the Revolution of 
1905, and sprang into existence again in the days of March, 
1917, when a force was needed to keep order in the 
city. At that time they were armed, and all efforts of the 
Provisional Government to disarm them were more or less 
unsuccessful. At every great crisis in the Revolution the Red 
Guards appeared on the streets, untrained and undisciplined, 
but full of Revolutionary zeal. 

White Guards. Bourgeois volunteers, who emerged in the 
last stages of the Revolution, to defend private property from 
the Bolshevik attempt to abolish it. A great niany of tliem 
were University students. 

Tekhi/ntsi. The so-called "Savage Division" in the army, 
made up of Mohametan tribesmen from Central Asia, and 
personally devoted to General Kornilov. The Tekhintsi were 
noted for their blind obedience and their savage cruelty in 

Death Battalions. Or Shock Battalions. The Women's 
Battalion is known to the world as the Death Battalion^ but 
there were many Death Battalions composed of men. These 
were formed in the summer of 1917 by Kerensky, for the 
purpose of strengthening the discipline and combative fire 
of the army by heroic example. The Death Battalions were 
composed mostly of intense young patriots. These came for 
the most part from among the sons of the propertied classes. 


Union of Officers. An organisation formed among the re- 
actionary officers in the army to combat politically the grow- 
ing power of the Army Committees. 

Krdghtg of St. George. The Cross of St. George was 
awarded for distinguished action in battle. It^ holder auto- 
matically became a **KfUght of St. George.** The predominant 
influence in the organisation was that of the supporters of the 
military idea. 

Peasants* Union. In 1905, the Peasants* Union was a 
revolutionary peasants' organisation. In 1917, however, it 
had become the political expression of the more prosperous 
peasants, to fi^t the growing power and revolutionary aims 
of the Soviets of Peasants' Deputies. 


I have adopted in this book our Calendar throughout, in- 
stead of the former Russian Calendar, which was thirteen days 

In the speUing of Russian names and words, I have made 
no attempt to follow any scientific rules for transliteration, but 
have tried to give the spelling which would lead the English- 
speaking reader to the simplest approximation of their pro- 


Much of the material in this book is from my own notes. 
I have also relied, however, upon a heterogeneous file of several 
hundred assorted Russian newspapers, covering almost every 
day of the time described, of files of the English paper, the 
Russian Daily News, and of the two French papers. Journal 
de Russie and Entente. But far more valuable than these is 
the Bulletin de la Presse issued daily by the French Informa- 
tion Bureau in Petrograd, which reports all important happen- 
ings, speeches and the comment of the Russian press. Of this 



I have an almost complete file from the spring of 1917 to the 
end of January, 1918. 

Besides the foregoing, I have in my possession almost every 
proclamation, decree and announcement posted on the walls 
of Petrograd from the middle of September, 1917, to the end 
of January, 1918. Also the official publication of all Govern- 
ment decrees and orders, and the official Government publica- 
tion of the secret treaties and other documents discovered in 
the Ministry of Foreign Affairs when the Bolsheviki took it 





TowASD the end of September, 1917) an alien Professor of 
Sociology visiting Russia came to see me in Petrograd. He 
had been informed by business men and intellectuals that the 
Revolution was slowing down. The Professor wrote an 
article about it, and then travelled around the country, visit- 
ing factory towns and i)easant communities — ^where, to his 
astonishment, the Revolution seemed to be speeding up. 
Among the wage-earners and the land-working people it was 
common to hear talk of ^^all land to the peasants, all factories 
to the workers/' If the Professor had visited the front, he 
would have heard the whole Army talking Peace. . • • 

The Professor was puzzled, but he need not have been; 
both observations were correct. The property-owning 
classes were becoming more conservative, the masses of the 
people more radical. 

There was a feeling among business men and the intelligent^ 
ma generally that the Revolution had gone quite far enough, and 
lasted too long; that things should settle down. This senti- 
ment was shared by the dominant ^^moderate" Socialist groups, 
the ohqrontii^ Mensheviki and Socialist Revolutionaries, who 
supported the Provisional Government of Kerensky. 

^ References numbered in this manner refer to the Appendix to Chapter 
I. See page S15. 



• • • 

On October 14th th^ official organ of the "moderate** 

• • • * 

Socialists said : .-.'•* 

• ■ 
The drama of .fie^jolution has two acts ; the destruction of the old 

regime and tha c^^eaiion of the new one. The first act has lasted 

long enough* Now it is time to go on to the second^ and to play it 

as rapidly aS*j)ossible. As a great revolutionist put it^ "Let us 

hasten^ |ri£lidls^ to terminate the Revolution. He who makes it last 

too lon^'x^ not gather the fruits. ..." 

.*.,J^)nong the worker, soldier and peasant masses, however^ 
./tjiete was a stubborn feeling that the "first act" was not yet 
, pFayed out. On the front the Army Committees were always 
' running foul of officers who could not get used to treating^ 
their men like human beings ; in the rear the Land Committees 
; elected by the peasants were being jailed for trying to carry 
out Government regulations concerning the land; and the 
' workmen ^ in the factories were fighting black-lists and lock- 
outs. Nay, furthermore, returning political exiles were being 
excluded from the country as "undesirable" citizens; and in 
some cases, men who returned from abroad to their villages 
were prosecuted and imprisoned for revolutionary acts com- 
mitted in 1905. 

To the multiform discontent of the people the "moderate** 
Socialists had one answer: Wait for the Constituent Assembly, 
which is to meet in December. But the masses were not 
satisfied with that. The Constituent Assembly was all well 
and good; but there were certain definite things for which the 
Russian Revolution had been made, and for which the revo- 
lutionary martyrs rotted in their stark Brotherhood G^ave 
on Mars Field, that must be achieved Constituent Assembly 
or no Constituent Assembly jPe ace, Land, and Workers* Con- 
trol of Industry. The Constituent Assembly had been post- 
pohed and postponed — ^would probably be postponed again, 
until the people were calm enough — perhaps to modify their 



demands! At any rate, here were eight months of the Revo- 
lution gone, and little enough to show for it. • • • 

"Meanwhile the soldiers began to solve the peace question by 
limply deserting, the peasants burned manor-houses and took 
iTer the great estates, the workers sabotaged and struck. • • • 
course, as was natural, the manufacturers, land-owners 
and army officers exerted all their influence against any 
democratic compromise. • • . 

The policy of the Provisional Government alternated be- 
tween ineffective reforms and stem repressive measures. An 
edict from the Socialist Minister of Labour ordered all the 
Workers* Committees henceforth to meet only after working- 
hours. Among the troops at the front, "agitators'' of oppo- 
sition political parties were arrested, radical newspapers closed 
down, and capital pimishment applied — ^to revolutionary 
rpropagandists. Attempts were made to disarm the Red Guard. 
I Cossacks were sent to keep order in the provinces. . • • 

These measures were supported by the "moderate" Social- 
ists and their leaders in the Ministry, who considered it neces- 
sary to cooperate with the propertied classes. The people 
rapidly deserted them, and went over to the Bolsheviki, who 
stood for Peace, Land, and Workers' Control of Industry, 
and a Government of the working-class. In September, 1917, 
matters reached a crisis. Against the overwhelming sentiment 
of the coimtry, Kerensky and the "moderate" Socialists suc- 
ceeded in establishing a Government of Coalition with the 
^pertied classes ; and as a result, the Mensheviki and Social- 
|ist Revolutionaries lost the confidence of the people forever. 
An article in Rabotchi Put (Workers' Way) about the 
middle of October, entitled "The Socialist Ministers," ex- 
pressed the feeling of the masses of the people against the 
"moderate" Socialists: 

Hei^^ a list of their services.' 

Tseremli: disarmed the workmen with the assistance of Gen* 


eral Polovtsev^ checkmated the revolutionary soldiers^ and approved 
of capital punishment in the army. 

Skobeliev: commenced by trying to tax the capitalists 100% of 
their profits^ and finished — ^and finished by an attempt to dissolve 
the Workers' Committees in the shops and factories. 

Avksentiev : put several hundred peasants in prison^ members 
of the Land Committees^ and suppressed dozens of workers' and 
soldiers' newspapers. 

Tchernov: signed the "Imperial" manif^st^ ordering the disso- 
lution of the Finnish Diet. 

Savinkov: concluded an open alliance with General Kornilov. If 
this saviour of the country was not able to betray Petrograd^ it was 
due to reasons over which he had no control. 

Zarudny: with the sanction of Alexinsky and Kerensky^ put 
some of the best workers of the Revolution^ soldiers and sailors^ in 

Nikitin: acted as a vulgar policeman against the Railwav 

Kerensky: it is better not to say anything about him. The list 
of his services is too long. . . . 

A Congress of delegates of the Baltic Fleet, at Helsing<- 
f ors, passed a resolution which began as follows : 

We demand the immediate removal from the ranks of the Pro- 
visional Government of the "Socialist," the political adventurer — 
Kerensky, as one who is scandalising and ruining the great Revo- 
lution, and with it the revolutionary masses, by his shameless politi- 
cal blackmail on behalf of the bourgeoisie. .... 

The direct result of all this was the rise of the Bolshe- 
viki. • • • 

Since March, 1917, when the roaring torrents of workmen 
and soldiers beating upon the Tauride Palace compelled the 
reluctant Imperial Duma to assume the supreme power in Rus- 
sia, it was the masses of the people, workers, soldiers cmd peas- 
ants, which forced every change in the course of the Revolution. 


'niey hurled the Mlliukov Ministry down; it was their Soviet 
which proclaimed to the world the Russian peace terms — "No 
annexations, no indemnities, and the right of self-determination 
of peoples''; and again, in July, it was the spontaneous ris- 
ing of the unorganised proletariat which once more stormed 
the Tauride Palace, to demand that the Soviets take over the 
Grovemment of Russia. 

The Bolsheviki, then a small poUtical sect, put themselves 
at the head of the movement. As a result of the disastrous 
failure of the rising, public opinion turned against them, 
and their leaderless hordes slunk back into the Viborg Quarter, 
which is Petrograd's St. Antovne. Then followed a savage 
hunt of the Bolsheviki ; himdreds were imprisoned, among them 
Trotzky, Madame Kollontai and Kameniev ; Lenin and Zinoviev 
went into hiding, fugitives from justice; the Bolshevik papers 
were suppressed. Provocators and reactionaries raised the 
cry that the Bolsheviki were German agents, until people all 
over the world beheved it. 

But the Provisional Government found itself unable to 
substantiate its accusations; the documents proving pro-Ger- 
man conspiracy were discovered to be forgeries;* and one by 
one the Bolsheviki were released from prison without trial, on 
nominal or no bail — until only six remained. The impotence 
and indecision of the ever-changing Provisional Government 
was an argument nobody could refute. Th$ Bolsheviki raised 
again the slogan so dear to the masses, pAU Power to the 
Soviets!" — and they were not merely self-seeking, for at 
that time the majority of the Soviets was "moderate" Socialist, 
their hitter enemy. 

But more potent still, they took the crude, simple desires 

of the workers, soldiers and peasants, and from them built 

their immediate programme. And so, while the oborontsi Men- 

sheviki and Socialist Revolutionaries involved themselves in com- 

* Part of the famous '^Sisson Documents." 


promise with the bourgeoisie, the Bolsheviki rapidly captured 
the Russian masses. In July they were hunted and despised ; by 
September the metropolitan workmen, the sailors of the Baltic 
Fleet, and the soldiers, had been won almost entirely to their 
cause. The September municipal elections in the large cities * 
were significant ; only 18 per cent of the returns were Menshevik 
and Socialist Revolutionary, against more than 70 per cent 
in June. ... 

There remains a phenomenon which puzzled foreign ob- 
servers: the fact that the Central Executive Committees of 
the Soviets, the Central Army and Fleet Committees,* and 
the Central Committees of some of the Unions — ^notably, the 
Post and Telegraph Workers and the Railway Workers — op- 
posed the Bolsheviki with the utmost violence. These Central 
Committees had all been elected in the middle of the summer, 
or even before, when the Mensheviki and Socialist Revolution- 
aries had an enormous following; and they delayed or pre- 
vented any new elections. Thus, according to the constitu- 
tion of the Soviets of Workers' and Soldiers' Deputies, the 
All-Russian Congress should have been called in September; 
but the Tsay-ee-kah* would not call the meeting, on the ground 
that the Constituent Assembly was only two months away, ; 
at which time, they hinted, the Soviets would abdicate. Mean- j 
while, one by one, the Bolsheviki were winning in the local j 
Soviets all over the country, in the Union branches and the 
ranks of the soldiers and sailors. The Peasants* Soviets re- 
mained still conservative, because in the sluggish rural districts 
political consciousness developed slowly, and the Socialisi. 
Revolutionary party had been for a generation the party which'^ 
had agitated among the peasants. • • . But even among the 
peasants a revoliitionary wing was forming. It showed itself ] 
clearly in October, when the left wing of the Socialist Revolu- 

* See Notes and Explanations. 


tionaries split off, and formed a new political faction, the Left 
Socialist Revolutionaries. 

At the same time there were signs everywhere that the 
forces of reaction were gaining confidence.*^ At the Troitsky 
Farce theatre in Petrograd, for example, a burlesque called 
Skis of the Tsar was interrupted by a group of Monarchists, 
who threatened to lynch the actors for "insulting the Em- 
peror." Certain newspapers began to sigh for a "Russian 
Napoleon." It was the usual thing among bourgeois inteUi- 
gentzia to refer to the Soviets of Workers' Deputies (Rabot- 
chikh Deputatov) as Sabatchikh Deputatov — ^Dogs' Deputies. 
On October 15th I had a conversation with a great Rus- 
sian capitalist, Stepan Gkorgevitch. Lianozov, known as the 
^^ussian Rockefeller" — a Cadet by political faith. 

**Revolution," he said, "is a sickness. Sooner or later 
the foreign powers must intervene here — as one would inter- 
vene to cure a sick child, and teach it how to walk. Of course 
it would be more or less improper, but the nations must realise 
the danger of Bolshevism in their own countries — ^such con- 
ta^ous ideas as ^proletarian dictatorship,' and %orld social 
revolution' . . . There is a chance that this intervention may 
not be necessary. Transportation is demoralised, the facto- 
rjea are closing down, and the Germans are advancing. 
Starvation and defeat may bring the Russian people to their 


'Mr. Lianozov was emphatic in his opinion that whatever 
lia^ppened, it would be impossible for merchants and manufac- 
turers to permit the existence of the workers' Shop Commit- 
tees, or to allow the workers any share in the management 
of industry. 

**As for the Bolsheviki, they will be done away with by 
one of two methods. The Government can evacuate Petro- 
grad, then a state of siege declared, and the military 
commander of the district can deal with these gentlemen with- 


out legal formalities. . . . Or if^ for example^ the Constituent 
Assembly manifests any Utopian tendencies, it can be dis- 
persed by force of arms. ..." 

Winter was coming on — the terrible Russian winter. I 
heard business men speak of it so: ^^inter was always Rus* 
sia^s best friend. Perhaps now it will rid us of Revolution.*' 
On the freezing front miserable armies continued to starve and 
die, without enthusiasm. The railways were breaking down, 
food lessening, factories closing. The desperate masses cried 
out that the bourgeoisie was sabotaging the life of the people, 
causing defeat on the Front. Riga had been surrendered just 
after General Kornilov said publicly, **Must we pay with Riga 
the price of bringing the country to a sense of its dutyP* * 

To Americans it is incredible that the class war should 
develop to such a pitch. But I have personally met officers 
on the Northern Front who frankly preferred military dis- 
aster to cooperation with the Soldiers' Committees. The 
secretary of the Petrograd branch of the Cadet party told 
me that the break-down of the country's economic life was 
part of a campaign to discredit the Revolution. An Allied 
diplomat, whose name I promised not to mention, confirmed 
this from his own knowledge. I know of certain coal-mines 
near Kharkov which were fired and flooded by their owners, 
of textile factories at Moscow whose engineers put the machin- 
ery out of order when they left, of railroad officials caught 
by the workers in the act of crippling locomotives. • . • 

A large section of the propertied classes preferred the 
Germans to the Revolution — even to the Provisional Govern- 
ment — and didn't hesitate to say so. In the Russian house- 
he^ where I lived, the subject of conversation at the dinner* 
table was almost invariably the coming of the Germans, bring- 
ing *?aw and order." . • • One evening I spent at the house 

*See "Kornilov to Brest-Litovsk/' by John Reed. Boni and Liverigfat^ 
N. Y., 1919. 


of a Moscow merchant; during tea we lisked the eleven people 
at the table whether they preferred **Wilhelm or the Bol- 
sheviki.'* The vote was ten to one for Wilhelm . . .■ *' ■•^. 

The speculators took advantage of the universal disor- 
ganisation to pile up fortunes, and to spend them in fantastic 
revelry or the corruption of Government officials. Food- 
stuffs and fuel were hoarded, or secretly sent out of the coun- 
try to Sweden. In the first four months of the Revolution, 
for example, the reserve food-supplies were almost openly 
looted from the great Municipal warehouses of Petrograd, 
until the two-years' provision of grain had fallen to less than 
enough to feed the city for one month. • • • According to the 
official report of the last Minister of Supplies in the Provi- 
sional Government, coffee was bought wholesale in Vladivostok 
for two rubles a pound, and the consumer in Petrograd paid 
thirteen. In all the stores of the large cities were tons of 
food and clothing; but only the rich could buy them. 

In a provincial town I knew a merchant family turned 
specidator — maradior (bandit, ghoul) the Russians call it. 
The three sons had bribed their way out of military service. 
One gambled in foodstuffs. Another sold illegal gold from 
the Lena mines to mysterious parties in Finland. The third 
owned a controlling interest in a chocolate factory, which 
supplied the local Cooperative societies — on condition that 
the Cooperatives furnished him everything he needed. And 
so, while the masses of the people got a quarter pound of 
Uack bread on their bread cards, he had an abundance of 
white bread, sugar, tea, candy, cake and butter. • . . Yet 
when the soldiers at the front could no longer fight from cold, 
hunger and exhaustion, how indignantly did this family scream 
•^Cowards !'* — ^how "ashamed" they were "to be Russians" . . . 
When finally the Bolsheviki found and requisitioned vast 
hoarded stores of provisions, what "Robbers" they were. 

Beneath all this external rottenness moved the old-time 

«. « ■ 


Dark Forces, unchanged since the fall of Nicholas the Second, 
secret still and very active. The agents of the notorious 
^. Okhrana still functioned, for and against the Tsar, for and 
I against Kerensky — ^whoever would pay. ... In the darkness, 
I underground organisation^ of all sorts, such as the Black 
I Hundreds, were busy attempting to restore reaction in some 
I form or other. 

~^^^ In this atmosphere of corruption, of monstrous half-truths, 
I one clear note sounded day after day, the deepening chorus 
\of the Bolsheviki, "All Power to the Soviets! All power to 
\the direct representatives of millions on millions of common 
rworkers, soldiers, peasants. Land, bread, an end to the sense- 
less war, an end to secret diplomacy, speculation, treachery. 
. • • The Revolution is in danger, and with it the cause of 
the people all over the world!" 

The struggle between the proletariat and the middle class, 
between the Soviets and the Grovemment, which had begun in 
the first March days, was about to culminate. Having at one 
bound leaped from the Middle Ages into the twentieth century, 
Russia showed the startled world two systems of Revolution 
— ^the pcditical and the social — ^in mortal combat. 

What a revelation of the vitality of the Russian Revolu- 
tion, after all these months of starvation and disillusionment! 
The bourgeoisie should have better known its . Russia. Not 
for a long time in Russia will the ^^sickness'' of Revolution have 
run its course. • • • 

Looking back, Russia before the November insurrection 
seems of another age, almost incredibly conservative. So 
quickly did we adapt ourselves to the newer, swifter life; just 
as Russian politics swung bodily to the Left — ^until the Cadets 
were outlawed as "enemies of the people,** Kerensky became 
a "counter-revolutionist,** the '^middle** Socialist leaderS] 
Tseretelli, Dan, Lieber, Gotz and Avksentiev, were too rea^»* 


tionary for their followin^y and men like Victor Tchemov, and 
even Maxim Gorky, belonged to the Right Wing. • • • 

About the middle of December, 1917, a group of Socialist 
Revolutionary leaders paid a private visit to Sir Gkorge 
Buchanan, the British Ambassador, and implored him not to 
mention the fact that they had been there, because they were 
^'considered too far Right/' 

"And to think," said Sir George. "One year ago my Gov- 
ernment instructed me not to receive Miliukov, because be was 
so dangerously Left!" 

September and October are the worst months of the Rus- 
sian year — especially the Petrograd year. Under dull grey 
skies, in the shortening days, the rain fell drenching, inces- 
sant. The mud underfoot was deep, slippery and clinging, 
tracked everywhere by heavy boots, and worse than usual be- 
cause of the complete break-down of the Municipal admin- 
istration. Bitter damp winds rushed in from the Gulf of 
Finland, and the chill fog rolled through the streets. At 
night, for motives of economy as well as fear of Zeppelins, the 
street-lights were few and far between; in private dwellings 
and apartment-houses the electricity was turned on from six 
o'clock until midnight, with candles forty cents apiece and 
little kerosene to be had. It was dark from three in the 
afternoon to ten in the morning. Robberies and house- 
breakings increased. In apartment houses the men took turns 
at all-night guard duty, armed with loaded rifles. This was 
miider the Provisional Government. 

Week by week food became scarcer. The daily allowance 
of bread fell from a pound and a half to a pound, then three- 
quarters, half, and a quarter-pound. Toward the end there 
was a week without any bread at all. Sugar one was entitled 
to at the rate of two pounds a month — if one could get it at 
ally which was seldom. A bar of chocolate or a pound of 


tastdess candy cost anywhere from seven to ten rubles — ^at 
lea«t a dollar. There was milk for about half the babies in 
the city; most hotels and private houses never saw it for 
months. In the fruit season apples and pears sold for a little 
less than a ruble apiece on the street-comer. . • • 

For milk and bread and sugar and tobacco one had to 
stand in queue long hours in the chill rain. Coming home 
from an all-night meeting I have seen the kvost (tail) begin- 
ning to form befojre dawn, mostly women, some with babies in 
their arms. . • . Carlyle, in his French Revolution, has de- 
scribed the French people as distinguished above all others 
by their faculty of standing in queue. Russia had accustomed 
herself to the practice, begun in the reign of Nicholas the 
Blessed as long ago as 1915, and from then continued inter- 
mittently until the summer of 1917, when it settled down as 
the regular order of things. Think of the poorly-clad people 
standing on the iron-white streets of Petrograd whole days 
in the Russian winter! I have listened in the bread-lines, hear- 
ing the bitter, acrid note of discontent which from time to 
time burst up through the miraculous goodnature of the Rus- 
sian crowd. • • • 

Of course all the theatres were going every night, including 
Sundays. Karsavina appeared in a new Ballet at the Marin- 
sky, all dance-loving Russia coming to see her. Shaliapin 
was singing. At the Alexandrinsky they were reviving Meyer- 
hold's production of Tolstoy's "Death of Ivan the Terrible"; 
and at that performance I remember noticing a student of the 
Imperial School of Pages, in his dress uniform, who stood 
up correctly between the acts and faced the empty Imperial 
box^ with its eagles all erased. . . . The Krivoye Zerkdlo 
staged a sumptuous version of Schnitzler's "Reigen.** 

Although the Hermitage and other picture galleries had 
been evacuated to Moscow, there were weekly exhibitions of 
paintings. Hordes of the female intelligentzia went to hear 


lectures on Art, Literature and the Easy Philosophies. It 
was a particularly active season for Theosophists. And the 
Salvation Army, admitted to Russia for the first time in his- 
tory, plastered the walls with announcements of gospel meet- 
ings, which amused and astounded Russian audiences. • • • 
x"^ As in all such times, the petty conventional life of the 
i city went on, ignoring the Revolution as much as possible. 
I The poets made verses — but not about the Revolution. The 
. I realistic painters painted scenes from mediaeval Russian his- 
jtory — anything but the Revolution. Young ladies frcwm the 
provinces came up to the capital to learn French and cultivate 
their voices, and the gay young beautiful officers wore their 
gold-trimmed crimson bashliki and their elaborate Caucasian 
swords around the hotel lobbies. The ladies of the minor 
bureaucratic set took tea with each other in the afternoon, 
carrying each her little gold or silver or jewelled sugar-box, 
and half a loaf of bread in her mufF, and wished that the Tsar 
were back, or that the Grermans would come, or anything that 
would solve the servant problem. . • . The daughter of a 
friend of mine came home one afternoon in hysterics because 
the woman street-car conductor had called her "Comrade!" 

AU around them great Russia was in travail, bearing a 
new world. The servants one used to treat like animals and 
pay next to nothing, were getting independent. A pair of 
shoes cost more than a hundred rubles, and as wages averaged 
about thirty-five rubles a month the servants refused to 
stand in queue and wear out their shoes. But more than 
that. In the new Russia every man and woman could vote; 
there were working-class newspapers, saying new and start- 
"iig things ; there were the Soviets ; and there were the Unions. 
The izvoshtchiki (cab-drivers) had a Union; they were also 
^presented in the Petrograd Soviet. The waiters and hotel- 
^^rvants were organised, and refused tips. On the walls of 



restaurants they put up signs which read, "No tips taken 
here — '' or, **Just because a man has to make his living waiting 
on table is no reason to insult him by offering him a tip !" 

At the Front the soldiers fought out their fight with the 
officers, and learned self-government through their committees. 
In the factories those unique Russian organisations, the Fac- 
tory-Shop Committees,* gained experience and strength and a 
realisation of their historical mission by combat with the old 
order. All Russia was learning to read, and reading — poli- 
tics, economics, history — because the people wanted to 
hnow. ... In every city, in most towns, along the Front, 
each political faction had its newspaper — sometimes several. 
Hiundreds of thousands of pamphlets were distributed by 
thousands of organisations, and poured into the armies, the 
f villages, the factories, the streets. The thirst for education, 
I so long thwarted, burst with the Revolution into a frenzy of 
I expression. From Smolny Institute alone, the first six months, 
*l^ent out every day tons, car-loads, train-loads of literature, 
saturating the land. Russia absorbed reading matter like hot 
sand drinks water, insatiable. And it was not fables, falsified 
history, diluted religion, and the cheap fiction that corrupts 
— ^but social and economic theories, philosophy, the works of 
Tolstoy, Gogol, and Gorky. ... 

Then the Talk, beside which Carlyle's "flood of French 
speech*' was a mere trickle. Lectures, debates, speeches — in 
theatres, circuses, school-houses, clubs, Soviet meeting-rooms. 
Union headquarters, barracks. . . . Meetings in the trenches 
at the Front, in village squares, factories. . . . What a marvel- 
lous sight to see Putilovsky Zavod (the Putilov factory) pour 
out its forty thousand to listen to Social Democrats, Socialist 
Revolutionaries, Anarchists, anybody, whatever they had to 
say, as long as they would talk! For months in Petrograd, 
and all over Russia, every street-comer was a public tribune. 
* See Notes and Explanations. 


In railway trains, street-cars,, always the spurting up of 
finipromptu debate, everywhere. . . . 

^'^'^And the AU-Russian Conferences and Congresses, drawing 
together the men of two continents — conventions of Soviets, 
of Cooperatives, Zemstvos,* nationalities, priests, peasants, po- 
litical parties; the Democratic Conference, the Moscow Con- 
ference, the Council of the Russian Republic. There were 
always three or four conventions going on in Petrograd. At 
every meeting, attempts to limit the time of speakers voted 
down, and every man free to express the thought that was in 
him. • • • 

We came down to the front of the Twelfth Army, back of 
Riga, where gaunt and bootless men sickened in the mud of 
desperate trenches; and when they saw us they started up, 
with their pinched faces and the flesh showing blue through 
their torn clothing, demanding eagerly, "Did you bring any- 
thing to read?^^ 

What though the outward and visible signs of change 
were many, what though the statue of Catharine the Great 
before the Alexandrinsky Theatre bore a little red flag in its 
hand, and others — somewhat faded — ^floated from all public 
buildings ; and the Imperial monograms and eagles were either 
torn down or covered up ; and in place of the fierce gorodovoye 
I (city police) a mild-mannered and unarmed citizen ixdlitia 
^Jalrolled the streets — still, there were many quaint anachron- 

For example, Peter the Great's Tdbel o Rangov — Table 
of Ranks — ^which he rivetted upon Russia with an iron hand, 
still held sway. Almost everybody from the school-boy up 
wore his prescribed uniform, with the insignia of the Emperor 
on button and shoulder-strap. Along about five o'clock in 
the afternoon the streets were full of subdued old gentlemen 
in uniform, with portfolios, going home from work in the 


*@ee Notes and Explanations. 


huge, barrack-like Ministries or Government institutions, cal- 
culating perhaps how great a mortality among their superiors 
would advance them to the coveted tchin (rank) of Collegiate 
Assessor, or Privy Councillor, with the prospect of retirement 
on a comfortable pension, and possibly the Cross of St. 
Anne. • . . -^ 

There is the story of Senator Sokolov, who in full tide of 
Revolution came to a meeting of the Senate one day in civilian 
clothes, and was not admitted because he did not wear the 
prescribed livery of the Tsar's service! 

It was against this background of a whole nation in fer- 
ment and disintegration that the pageant of the Rising* of 
the Russian Masses unrolled. • • • 



In September General Komilov marched on Petrograd to . 
make himself military dictator of Russia. Behind him was / 
suddenly revealed the mailed fist of the bourgeoisie, boldly at- f 
tempting to crush the Revolution. Some of the Socialist 
Ministers were implicated; even Kerensky was under suspi- 
cion.^ Savinkov, summoned to explain to the Central Com- 
mittee of his party, the Socialist Revolutionaries, refused and 
was expelled. NKorpiW was arrested by the Soldiers' Com- 
mittees. Gknerals were dismissed. Ministers suspended from 
their functions, and the Cabinet fell. 

Kerensky tried to form a new Government, including the 
Cadets, party of the bourgeoisie. His party, the Socialist 
Revolutionaries, ordered him to exclude the Cadets. Kerensky 
declined to obey, and threatened to resign from the Cabinet if 
the Socialists insisted. However, popular feeling ran so high 
that for the moment h^ did not dare oppose it, and a tem- 
porary Directorate of Five of the old Ministers, with Keren- 
sky at the head, assumed the power until the question should 
be settled. 

The Komilov affair drew together all the Socialist groupsi 
— **moderates" as well as revolutionists — ^in a passionate impulse : 
of self-defence. There must be no more Kornilovs. A new 
Gk>vemment must be created, responsible to the elements sup- 
porting the Revolution. So the Tsay-ee-htih invited the popu- 

^References in this chapter refer to the Appendix to Chapter II. See 
page 317. 



lar organisations to send delegates to a Democratic Confer- 
ence, which should meet at Petrograd in September. 

In the Tsay-ee-hah three factions immediately appeared. 
The Bolsheviki demanded that the All-Russian Congress of 
Soviets be summoned, and that they take over the power. 
The "centre" Socialist Revolutionaries, led by Tchemov, 
joined with the Left Socialist Revolutionaries, led by Kamkov 
and Spiridonova, the Mensheviki Internationalists under 
Martov, and the "centre" Mensheviki,* represented by Bog- 
danov and Skobeliev, in demanding a purely Socialist Govern- 
ment. Tseretelli, Dan and Lieber, at the head of the right 
wing Mensheviki, and the right Socialist Revolutionaries under 
Avksentiev and Gotz, insisted that the propertied classes 
must be represented in the new Government. 

Almost immediately the Bolsheviki won a majority in the 
Petrograd Soviet, and the Soviets of Moscow, Kiev, Odessa 
and other cities followed suit. 

Alarmed, the Mensheviki and Socialist Revolutionaries in 
control of the Tsay-ee-kah decided that after all they feared 
the danger of Komilov less than the danger of Lenin. They 
revised the plan of representation in the Democratic Confer- 
ence,^ admitting more delegates from the Cooperative Societies 
and other conservative bodies. Even this packed assembly 
at first voted for a Coalition Government without the Cadets, 
Only Kerensky's open threat of resignation, and the alarm- 
ing cries of the "moderate" Socialists that "the Republic is 
in danger" persuaded the Conference, by a small majority, to 
declare in favour of the principle of coalition with the bour- 
geoisie, and to sanction the establishment of a sort of consulta- 
tive Parliament, without any legislative power, called the 
Provisional Council of the Russian Republic. In the new 
Ministry the propertied classes practically controlled, and in 
*$ee Notes and Explanations. 


the Council of the Russian Republic they occupied a dispro- 
portionate number of seats. 

The fact is that the Tsay-ee-Jcdh no longer represented the 
rank and file of the Soviets, and had illegally refused to call 
another All-Russian Congress of Soviets, due in September. It 
had no intention of calling this Congress or of allowing it to be 
called. Its official organ, Ixviestia (News), began to hint that 
the function of the Soviets was nearly at an end,^ and that 
they might soon be dissolved ... At this time, too, the new 
Government announced as part of its policy the liquidation of 
•^irresponsible organisations" — i.e. the Soviets. 

The Bolsheviki responded by summoning the All-Russian 
Soviets to meet at Petrograd on November 2, and take over 
the Government of Russia. At the same time they withdrew 
from the Council of the Russian Republic, stating that they 
would not participate in a "Government of Treason to the 
People-" * 

The withdrawal of the Bolsheviki, however, did not bring 
tranquillity to the ill-fated Council. The propertied classes, 
now in a position of power, became arrogant. The Cadets 
declared that the Government had no legal right to declare 
Russia a republic. They demanded stern measures in the 
Army and Navy to destroy the Soldiers' and Sailors' Commit- 
tees, and denounced the Soviets. On the other side of the 
chamber the Mensheviki Internationalists and the Left Social- 
ist Revolutionaries advocated immediate peace, land to the 
peasants, and workers' control of industry — practically the 
Bolshevik programme. 

I heard Martov's speech in answer to the Cadets. Stooped 
over the desk of the tribune like the mortally sick man he was, 
and speaking in a voice so hoarse it could hardly be heard, 
he shook his finger toward the right benches : 

"You call us defeatists; but the real defeatists are those 
who wait for a more propitious moment to conclude peace. 


insist upon postponing peace until later, until nothing is left 
of the Russian army, until Russia becomes the subject of 
bargaining between the different imperialist groups, . . . 
You are trying to impose upon the Russian people a policy 
dictated by the interests of the bourgeoisie. The question of 
peace should be raised without delay. . . . You will see then 
that not in vain has been the work of those whom you call 
German agents, of those Zimmerwaldists * who in all the lands 
have prepared the awakening of the conscience of the demo- 
cratic masses. • . •" 

Between these two groups the Mensheviki and Socialist 
Revolutionaries wavered, irresistibly forced to the left by the 
pressure of the rising dissatisfaction of the masses. Deep* 
hostility divided the chamber into irreconcilable groups. 

This was the situation when the long-awaited announce- 
ment of" the Allied Conference in Paris brought up the burning 
question of foreign policy. . . . 

Theoretically all Socialist parties in Russia were in favour 
of the earliest possible peace on democratic terms. As long 
ago as May, 1917, the Petrograd Soviet, then under control 
of the Mensheviki and Socialist Revolutionaries, had pro- 
claimed the famous Russian peace-conditions. They had de- 
manded that the Allies hold a conference to discuss war^aims. 
This conference had been promised for August ; then postponed 
until September; then until October; and now it was fixed for 
November 10th. 

The Provisional Grovemment suggested two representa- 
tives — General Alexeyev, reactionary military man, and Ter- 
estchenko. Minister of Foreign Affairs. The Soviets chose 
Skobeliev to speak for them and drew up a manifesto, the 
famous naJeaz^ — instructions. The Provisional Government 


* Members of the revolutionary internationalist wing of the Socialists of 
Europe, so-called because of their participation in the International Con- 
ference held at Zimmerwald, Switzerland, in 1915. 


objected to Skobeliev and his nakaz; the Allied ambassadors 
protested and finally Bonar Law in the British House of 
Commons, in answer to a question, responded coldly, ^^As far 
as I know the Paris Conference will not discuss the aims of 
the war at all, but only the methods of conducting it. . . ." 

At this the conservative Russian press was jubilant, and 
the Bolsheviki cried, ^^See where the compromising tactics of 
the Mensheviki and Socialist Revolutionaries have led them!" 

Along a thousand miles of front the millions of men 
in Russia's armies stirred like the sea rising, pouring into the 
capital their hundreds upon hundreds of delegations, crying 
*Teace! Peace!" 

I went across the river to the Cirque Modeme, to one of 
the great popular meetings which occurred all over the city, 
more numerous night after night. The bare, gloomy amphi- 
theatre, lit by five tiny lights hanging from a thin wire, was 
packed from the ring up the steep sweep of grimy benches to 
the very roof — soldiers, sailors, workmen, women, all listening 
as if their lives depended upon it. A soldier was speaking — 
from the Five Hundred and Forty-eighth Division, wherever 
and whatever that was: 

^Comrades," he cried, and there was real anguish in his 
drawn face and despairing gestures. ^^The people at the 
top are always calling upon us to sacrifice more, sacrifice more, 
while those who have everything are left unmolested. 

•*We are at war with Germany. Would we invite Grerman 
generals to serve on our Staff? Well we're at war with the 
^capitalists too, and yet we invite them into our Govern- 
ment. • • • 

•The soldier says, *Show me what I am fighting for. Is it 
Constantinople, or is it free Russia? Is it the democracy, or 
is it the capitalist plunderer3? If you can prove to me that 
I am defending the Revolution then I'll go out and fight with- 
out capital punishment to force me.' 


^^When the land belongs to the peasants, and the factories to 
the workers, and the power to the Soviets, then well know 
we have something to fight for, and we'll fight for it !" 

In the barracks, the factories, on the street-comers, end- 
less soldier speakers, all clamouring for an end to the war, 
declaring that if the Government did not make an energetic 
effort to get peace, the army would leave the trenches and go 

The spokesman for the Eighth Army: 

"We are weak, we have only a few men left in each com- 
pany. They must give us food and boots and reinforcements, 
or soon there will be left only empty trenches. Peace or sup- 
plies . . . either let the Government end the war or support 
the Army. • . ." 

For the Forty-sixth Siberian Artillery: 

"The officers will not work with our Committees, they be- 
tray us to the enemy, they apply the death penalty to our 
agitators; and the counter-revolutionary Government sup- 
ports them. We thought that the Revolution would bring 
peace. But now the Grovemment forbids us even to talk of 
such things, and at the same time doesn't give us enough food 
to live on, or enough ammunition to fight with. . . ." 

From Europe came rumours of peace at the expense of 
Russia.^ . . . 

News of the treatment of Russian troops in France added 
to the discontent. The First Brigade had tried to replace 
its officers with Soldiers' Committees, like their comrades at 
home, and had refused an order to go to Salonika, demanding 
to be sent to Russia. They had been surrounded and starved, 
and then fired on by artillery, and many killed.*^ ... / 

On October 29th I went to the white-marble and crimsmi 
hall of the Marinsky palace, where the Council of the RepuUic 
sat, to hear Terestchenko's declaration of the Government's 


foreign policy, awaited with such terrible anxiety by all the 
peace-thirsty and exhausted land. 

A taU, impeccably-dressed young man with a smooth face 
and high cheek-bones, suavely reading his careful, non-com- 
mittal speech.^ Nothing . . . Only the same platitudes about 
crushing German militarism with the help of the Allies — about 
the "state interests" of Russia, about the "embarrassment" 
caused by Skobeliev's nakaz. He ended with the key-note: 

^^Russia is a great power. Russia will remain a great 
power, whatever happens. We must all defend her, we must 
show that we are defenders of a great ideal, and children of a 
great power." 

Nobody was satisfied. The reactionaries wanted a 
"strong" imperialist policy; the democratic parties wanted 
an assurance that the Grovemment would press fox peace* . . .1 
reproduce an editorial in Rabotchi i Soldat (Worker and Sol- 
dier), organ of the Bolshevik Petrograd Soviet: 


The most taciturn of our Ministers^ Mr. Terestchenko^ has ac- 
tually told the trenches the following: 

1. We are closely united with our Allies. (Not with the 
peoples^ but with the Governments.) 

2. There is no use for the democracy to discuss the possibility 
or impossibility of a winter campaign. That will be decided by 
the Governments of our Allies. 

8. The 1st of July offensive was beneficial and a very happy 
affair. (He did not mention the consequences.) 

4. It is not true that our Allies do not care about us. The 
Minister has in his possession very important declarations. (Dec- 
larations? What about deeds? What about the behaviour of the 
British fleet ? ® The parleying of the British king with exiled 
€!Ounter-revolutionary General Gurko? The Minister did not men- 
ticm all this.) 

6, The nakaz to Skobeliev is bad; the Allies don't like it and 


the Russian diplomats don't like it. In the Allied Conference 
must all 'speak one language.' 

And is that all? That is all. What is th waj out? The 
solution is^ faith in the Allies and in Terestchenko. When will 
peace come? When the Allies permit. 

That is how the Government replied to the trenches about 
peace ! 

Now in the background of Russian politics began to form 
the vague outlines of a sinister power — ^the Cossacks. Novaya 
Zhizn (New Life), Gorky's paper, called attention to their 
activities : 

At the beginning of the Revolution the Cossacks refused to shoot 
down the people. When Kornilov marched on Petrograd they re- 
fused to follow him. From passive loyalty to the Revolution the 
Cossacks have passed to an active political offensive (against it). 
From the back-ground of the Revolution they have suddenly ad- 
vanced to the front of the stage. • . • 

Kaledin, ataman of the Don Cossacks, had been dismissed 
by the Provisional Government for his complicity in the Korni- 
lov affair. He flatly refused to resign, and surrounded by 
three immense Cossack armies lay at Novotcherkask, plotting 
and menacing. So great was his power that the Government 
was forced to ignore his insubordination. More than that, 
it was compelled formally to recognise the Council of the Unioi 
of Cossack Armies, and to declare illegal the newly-form< 
Cossack Section of the Soviets. . • • 

In the first part of October a Cossack delegation called^ 
upon Kerensky, arrogantly insisting that the charges againsV— 
Kaledin be dropped, and reproaching the Minister-President — 
for yielding to the Soviets. Kerensky agreed to let Kaledii^ 
alone, and then is reported to have said, "In the eyes of th^^ 
Soviet leaders I am a despot and a tyrant. ... As for tb*^ 
Provisional Government, not only does it not depend upon 


Soviets, but it considers it regrettable that they exist at all." 
At the s€une time another Cossack mission called upon 
the British ambassador, treating with him boldly as repre- 
sentatives of **the free C6ssack people." 

In the Don something very like a Cossack Republic had 
been established. The Kuban declared itself an independent 
Cossack State. The Soviets of Rostov-on-Don and Yekaterin- 
burg were dispersed by armed Cossacks, and the headquarters 
of the Coal Miners' Union at Kharkov raided. In all its 
manifestations the Cossack movement was anti-Socialist and 
militaristic. Its leaders were nobles and great land-owners, 
like Kaledin, Kornilov, Generals Dutov, Karaulov and Bar- 
dizhe, and it was backed by the powerful merchants and 
bankers of Moscow. . . . 

Old Russia was rapidly breaking up. In Ukraine, in Fin- 
land, Poland, White Russia, the nationalist movements gath- 
ered, strength and became bolder. The local Governments, 
controlled by the propertied classes, claimed autonomy, re- 
fusing to obey orders from Petrograd. At Helsingfors the 
Finnish Senate declined to loan money to the Provisional Gov- 
ernment, declared Finland autonomoais, and fd^nianded the 
withdrawal of Russian troops. The bourgeois Rada at 
Kiev extended the boundaries of Ukraine imtil they included 
all the richest agricultural lands of South Russia, as far east 
as the Urals, and began the formation of a national army. 
Premier Vinnitchenko hinted at a separate peace with Ger- 
many — and the Provisional Government was helpless. Siberia, 
the Caucasus, demanded separate Constituent Assemblies. 
And in all these countries there was the beginning of a bitter 
struggle between the authorities and the local Soviets of 
Workers' and Soldiers* Deputies. . . • 

Conditions were daily more chaotic. Hundreds of thou- 
sands of soldiers were deserting the front and beginning to 
.move in vast, aimless tides over the face of the land. The 



peasants of Tambov and Tver Governments, tired of waiting 
for the land, exasperated by the repressive measures of the Qor^ 
emment, were burning manor-houses and massacring land-own* 
ers. Immense strikes and lock-outs convulsed Moscow, Odessa 
and the coal-mines of the Don. Transportation was paralysed ; 
the army was starving and in the big cities there was no bread. 
The Government, torn between the democratic and reac- 
tionary factions, could do nothing: when forced to act it al- 
ways supported the interests of the propertied classes. Cos- 
sacks were sent to restore order among the peasants, to break 
the strikes. In Tashkent, Government authorities suppressed 
the Soviet. In Petrograd the Economic Council, established 
to rebuild the shattered economic life of the country, came to a 
deadlock between the opposing forces of capital and labour, 
and was dissolved by Kerensky. The old regime military men, 
backed by Cadets, demanded that harsh measures be adopted 
to restore discipline in the Army and the Navy. In vain Ad- 
miral Verderevsky, the venerable Minister of Marine, and Gen- 
eral Verkhovsky, Minister of War, insisted that only a new, vol- 
untary, democratic discipline, based on cooperation with the 
soldiers' and sailors' Committees, could save the army and 
navy. Their recommendations were ignored. 

The reactionaries seemed determined tc provoke popular 

* anger. The trial of Komilov was coming on. More and 

! more openly the bourgeois press defended him, speaking of 

' him as "the great Russian patriot." Burtzev's paper, 

Obshtchee Dielo (Common Cause), called for a dictatorship of 

Komilov, Kaledin and Kerensky! 

I had a talk with Burtzev one day in the press gallery of 
the Council of the Republic. A small, stooped figure with a 
wrinkled face, eyes near-sighted behind thick glasses, untidy 
hair and beard streaked with grey. 

**Mark my words, young man! What Russia needs is a 
Strong Man. We should get our minds off the Revolution now 



and concentrate on the Grermans. Bunglers, bunglers, to defeat 
Komilay; and back of the bunglers are the Grerman agents. 
Slomilov should have won. . . •" 

On the extreme right the organs of the scarcely-veSed Mon- 
archists, Purishkevitch's Narodny Tribwn (People's Tribune), 
Navaga Rus (New Russia), and Zhivoye Slovo (Living Word), 
openly advocated the extermination of the revolutionary de- 
mocracy. • . • 

On the 23rd of October occurred the nav€d battle with 
a Grerman squadron in the Gulf of Riga. On the pretext that 
Petrograd was in danger, the Provisional Government drew 
up plans for evacuating the capital. First the great muni- 
tions works were to go, distributed widely throughout Russia ; 
and then the Government itself was to move to Moscow. In- 
stantly the Bolsheviki began to cry out that the Government 
was abandoning the Red Capital in order to weaken the Revo- 
lution. Riga had been sold to the Grermans; now Petrograd 
was being betrayed ! 

The bourgeois press was joyful. **At Moscow," said the 
Cadet paper Ryetch (Speech), "the Government can pursue 
its work in a tranquil atmosphere, without being interfered 
with by anarchists.'' Rodzianko, leader of the right wing of the 
Cadet party, declared in Utro Rossii (The Morning of Russia) 
that the taking of Petrograd by the Germans would be a bless- 
ing9 because it would destroy the Soviets and get rid of the 
revolutionary Baltic Fleet: 

Petrograd is in danger (he wrote). I say to myself, "Let God 
take care of Petrograd." They fear that if Petrograd is lost the 
central revolutionary organisations will be destroyed. To that I 
moBwer that I rejoice if all these organisations are destroyed; for 
they will bring nothing but disaster upon Russia. . . . 

With the taking of Petrograd the Baltic Fleet will also be de- 
stroyed. . . . But there will be nothing to regret; most of the 
battleships are completely demoralised. . . . 


In the face of a storm of popular disapprov€d the plan of 
evacuation was repudiated. 

Meanwhile the Congress of Soviets loomed over Russia like 
a thunder^cloud, shot through with lightnings. It was op- 
posed, not only by the Government but by all the "moderate" 
Socialists. The Central Army and Fleet Committees, the Cen- 
tral Committees of some of the Trade Unions, the Peasants' 
Soviets, but most of all the Tsay-ee-Jcah itself, spared no pains 
to prevent the meeting. Izviestia and Golos Soldata (Voice of 
the Soldier), newspapers founded by the Petrograd Soviet 
but now in the hands of the Tsay-ee-kah^ fiercely assailed it, as 
did the entire artillery of the Socialist Revolutionary party 
press, Dielo Naroda (People's Cause) and VoUa Naroda (Peo- 
ple's Will). 

Delegates were sent through the country, messages flashed 
by wire to committees in charge of local Soviets, to Army Com- 
mittees, instructing them to halt or delay elections to the Con- 
gress. Solemn public resolutions against the Congress, declara- 
tions that the democracy was opposed to the meeting so near 
the date of the Constituent Assembly, representatives from the 
Front, from the Union of Zemstvos, the Peasants' Union, Union 
of Cossack Armies, Union of Officers, Knights of St. Greorge, 
Death Battalions,* protesting. . • . The Council of the Rus- 
sian Republic was one chorus of disapproval. The entire ma- 
chinery set up by the Russian Revolution of March functioned 
to t>lock the Congress of Soviets. . • . 

On the other hand was the shapeless will of the proletariat 
— ^the workmen, common soldiers and poor peasants. Many lo- 
cal Soviets were already Bolshevik; then there were the orga- 
nisations of the industrial workers, the Fabritchno-Zavodskiffe 
Comitieti — Factory-Shop Committees ; and the insurgent Army 
and Fleet organisations. In some places the people, prevented 
from electing their regular Soviet delegates, held nunp meet*> 
* See Notes and Explanations. 


ings anji chose one of their number to go to Petrograd. In 
others they smashed the old obstructionist committees and 
formed new ones. A ground-swell of revolt heaved and cracked 
the crust which had been slowly hardening on the surface of 
revolutionary fires dormant all those months. Only a spon- 
taneous mass-movement could bi*ing about the AU-Rus^n 
Congress of Soviets. • • . 

Day after day the Bolshevik orators toured the barracks 
and factories, violently denouncing **thi8 Grovernment of civil 
war." One Sunday we went, on a top-heavy steam tram that 
lumbered through oceans of mud, between stark factories and 
immense churches, to Ohukhovsky Zavod, a Government muni- 
tions-plant out on the Schliisselburg Prospekt. 

The meeting took place between the gaunt brick walls of 
a huge unfinished building, ten thousand black-clothed men and 
women packed around a scaffolding draped in red, people 
heaped on piles of lumber and bricks, perched high up on shad- 
owy girders, intent and thunder-voiced. Through the dulU 
heavy sky now and again burst the sun, flooding reddish light 
through the skeleton windows upon the mass of simple faces 
upturned to us. 

Lunatcharsky, a slight, student-like figure with the sensitive 
face of an artist, was telling why the power must be taken 
by the Soviets. Nothing else could guarantee the Revolution 
against its enemies, who were deliberately ruining the country, 
ruining the army, creating opportunities for a new Kornilov. 

A soldier from the Rinnanian front, thin, tragical and fierce, 
cried, "Comrades! We are starving at the front, we are stiff 
with cold. We are dying for no reason. I ask the American 
comrades to carry word to America, that the Russians will 
never give up their Revolution until they die. We will hold 
the fort wi^.h all our strength until the peoples of the world rise 
and help us ! Tell the American workers to rise and fight for 
the Social Revolution!'' 


Then came Petrovsky, slight, slow-voiced, implacable: 
^Now is the time for deeds, not words. The economic situ- 
ation is bad, but we must get used to it. They are trying to 
starve us and freeze us. They are trying to provoke us. But 
let them know that they can go too far — that if they dare to 
lay their hands upon the organisations of the proletariat we 
will sweep them away like scum from the face of the earth!" 

The Bolshevik press suddenly expanded. Besides the two 
party papers, Rabotchi Put and Soldat (Soldier), there ap- 
peared a new paper for the peasants, Derevenskaya Byednota 
(Village Poorest), poured out in a daily half-million edition; 
and on October 17th, Rabotchi % Soldat. Its leading article 
summed up the Bolshevik point of view: 

The fourth year's campaign will mean the annihilation of the 
army and the country. . . . There is danger for the safety of 
Petrograd. . . . Counter-revolutionists rejoice in the people's mis- 
fortunes. . . . The peasants brought to desperation come out in 
open rebellion; the landlords and Government authorities massacre 
them with punitive expeditions; factories and mines are closing 
down, workmen are threatened with starvation. . . . The bour- 
geoisie and its Generals want to restore a blind discipline in the 
army. . . . Supported by the bourgeoisie, the Komilovtsi are openly 
getting ready to break up the meeting of the Constituent Assem«> 
bly. . . . 

The Kerensky Grovemment ;s against the people. He will de- 
stroy the country. • . . This paper stands for the people and by 
the people — ^the poor classes, workers, soldiers and peasants. The 
people can only be saved by the completion of the Revolution • • • 
and for this purpose the full power must be in the hands of the 
Soviets. ... 

This paper advocates the following: 

All power to the Soviets — ^both in the capital and in the prov^ 

Immediate truce on all fronts. An honest peace between peoples. 

Landlord estates — without compensation — to the peasants. 


Workers' control over industrial production. 

A faithfidly and honestly elected Constituent Assembly. 

It is interesting to reproduce here a passage from that 
same paper — the organ of those Bolsheviki so well known to 
the world as German agents : 

The German kaiser^ covered with the blood of millions of dead 
people^ wants to push his army against Petrograd. Let us call to 
the German workmen^ soldiers and peasants^ who want peace not 
less than we do^ to . . . stand up against this damned war ! 

This can be done only by a revolutionary Government^ which 
would speak really for the workmen^ soldiers and peasants of Rus- 
sia^ and would appeal over the heads of the diplomats directly to 
the German troops^ fill the German trenches with proclamations 
in the German language. . . . Our aipnen would spread these 
proclamations all over Germany. . . • 

In the Council of the Republic the gulf between the two 
sides of the chamber deepened day by day. 

"The propertied classes," cried Karelin, for the Left So- 
cialist Revolutionaries, "want to exploit the revolutionary 
machine of the State to bind Russia to the war-chariot of the 
Allies! The revolutionary parties are absolutely against this 
policy. . . ." 

Old Nicholas Tchaikovsky, representing the Populist So- 
cialists, spoke against giving the land to the peasants, and took 
the side of the Cadets : 

**We must have immediately strong discipline in the army. 
• • • Since the beginning of the war I have not ceased to insist 
that it is a crime to undertake social and economic reforms 
in war-time. We are committing that crime, and yet I am 
not the enemy of these reforms, because I am a Socialist." 

Cries from the Left, "We don't believe you!" Mighty 
applause from the Right. ... 

Adzhcmov, for the Cadets, declared that there was no neces- 


sity to tell the army what it was fighting for, since every 
soldier ought to realise that the first task was to drive the 
enemy from Russian territory. 

Kerensky himself came twice, to plead passionately for na^ 
tional unity, once bursting into tears at the end. The assem- 
bly heard him coldly, interrupting with ironical remarks. 

Smolny Institute, headquarters of the Tsay-ee-kdh and of 
the Petrograd Soviet, lay miles out on the edge of the city, be- 
side the wide Neva. I went there on a street-car, moving 
snail-like with a groaning noise through the cobbled, muddy 
streets, and jammed with people. At the end of the line 
rose the graceful smoke-blue cupolas of Smolny Convent out- 
lined in dull gold, beautiful ; and beside it the great barracks- 
like fa9ade of Smolny Institute, two hundred yards long and 
three lofty stories high, the Imperial arms carved hugely in 
stone still insolent over the entrance. . . . 

Under the old regime a famous convent-school for the 
daughters of the Russian nobility, patronised by the Tsarina 
herself, the Institute had been taken over by the revolutionary 
organisations of workers and soldiers. Within were more than 
a hundred huge rooms, white and bare, on their doors enamelled 
plaques still informing the passerby that within was ^Xadies' 
Class-room Number 4" or "Teachers' Bureau'' ; but over these 
hung crudely-lettered signs, evidence of the vitality of the new 
order: "Central Committee of the Petrograd Soviet" and 
"jP«ay-^^-feafe" and "Bureau of Foreign Affairs"; "Union of 
Socialist Soldiers," "Central Committee of the AU-Russian 
Trade Unions," "Factory-Shop Committees," "Central Army 
Committee"; and the central offices and caucus-rooms of the 
political parties. • . . 

The long, vaulted corridors, lit by rare electric lights, were 
thronged with hurrying shapes of soldiers and workmen, some 
bent under the weight of huge bundles of newspapers, proc- 


lamationsy printed propaganda of all sorts. The sound of 
their heavy boots made a deep and incessant thunder on the 
wooden floor. . . • Signs were posted up everywhere: **Com- 
rades! For the sake of your health, preserve cleanliness!" 
Long tables stood at the head of the stairs on every floor, and 
on the landings, heaped with pamphlets and the literature of 
the different political parties, for sale. . . . 

The spacious, low-ceilinged refectory downstairs was still 
a dining-room. For two rubles I bou^t a ticket entitling me 






to dinner, and stood in line with a thousand others, waiting to 
get to the long serving-tables, where twenty men and women 
were ladling from immense cauldrons cabbage soup, himks of 
meat and piles of kasha, slabs of black bread. Five kopeks 
paid for tea in a tin cup. From a basket one grabbed a greasy 
wooden spoon. . . . The benches along the wooden tables were 
packed with hungry proletarians, wolfing their food, plotting, 
shouting rough jokes across the room. . • . 

Upstairs was another eating-place, reserved for the Tsay^ 
ee-kdh — though every one went there. Here could be had 
bread thickly buttered and endless glasses of tea. . . . 

In the south wing on the second floor was the great hall 


of meetings, the former ball-room of the Institute. A 
lofty white room lighted by glazed-white chandeliers hold- 
ing hundreds of ornate electric bulbs, and divided by two 
rows of massive columns; at one end a dais, flanked with 
two tall many-branched light standards, and a gold frame 
behind, from which the Imperial portrait had been cut. Here 
on festal occasions had been banked brilliant military and 
ecclesiastical uniforms, a setting for Grand Duchesses. . . • 

Just across the hall outside was the oflSce of the Creden- 
tials Committee for the Congress of Soviets. I stood there 
watching the new delegates come in — burly, bearded soldiers, 
workmen in black blouses, a few long-haired peasants. Tlie 
girl in charge — a member of Plekhanov's Yedinstvo* group — 
smiled contemptuously. "These are very different people from 
the delegates to the first Siezd (Congress)," she remarked. 
**S€e bow rough and ignorant they look! The Dark Peo- 
pie. . • /' It was true; the depths of Russia had been stirred, 
and it was the bottom which came upi)ermost now. The Cre- 
dentials Committee, appointed by the old Tsay-ee-kah, was 
challenging delegate after delegate, on the ground that they 
had been illegally elected. Karakhan, member of the Bolshevik. 
Central Committee, simply grinned. "Never mind," he said^ 
"When the time .comes we'll see that you get your seats. . . .'" 

Rabotchi i Soldai said: 

The attention of delegates to the new All-Russian Congress i 
called to attempts of certain members of the Organising Commlt= 
tee to break up the Congress^ by asserting that it will not take plac^ 
and that delegates had better leave Petrograd. . . . Pay no afl 
tention to these lies. . . . Great days are coming. . . . 

It was evident that a quorum would not come togeth^ 
by November 2, so the opening of the Congress was postpone^^ 
to the 7th. But the whole country was now aroused ; and tin 

*S€e Notes and Explanations. 


Mensheviki and Socialist Revolutionaries, realising that they 

were defeated, suddenly changed their tactics and began to wire 

"^utically to their provincial organisations to elect as many 

Moderate" Socialist delegates as possible. At the same time 

*^^ Executive Committee of the Peasants' Soviets issued an 

^oaergency call for a Peasants' Congress, to meet December 

^^tJi and offset whatever action the workers and soldiers might 

tafce. . . . 

What would the Bolsheviki do? Rmnours ran through the 
ciTij/' that there would be an armed "demonstration," a vystw- 
P^^'miie — ^'^coming out" of the workers and soldiers. The 
bovirgeois and reactionary press prophesied insurrection, and 
uxr^red the Grovemment to arrest the Petrograd Soviet, or at 
l^«^st to prevent the meeting of the Congress. Such sheets as 
^ovaffa Ru$ advocated a general Bolshevik massacre. 

Gorky's paper, Novaya Zhizn, agreed with the Bolsheviki 
tfcicfct the reactionaries were attempting to* destroy the Revolu- 
tion, and that if necessary they must be resisted by force of 
ax-rns ; but all the parties of the revolutionary democracy must 
piresent a united front. 

As long as the democracy has not organised its principal forces^ 
so long as the resistance to its influence is still strongs there is no 
advantage in passing to the attack. But if the hostile elements 
appeal to force, then the revolutionary democracy should enter the 
DB.ttle to seize the power, and it will be sustained by the most pro- 
fotmd strata of the people. . . . 

Gorky pointed out that both reactionary and Government 
li^Wspapers were inciting the Bolsheviki to violence. An in- 
surrection, however, would prepare the way for a new Kornilov. 
He urged the Bolsheviki to deny the rumours. Potressov, in 
^e Menshevik Dien (Day), published a sensational story, 
Accompanied by a map, which professed to reveal the secret 
Bolshevik* plan of campaign. 



As if by magic, the walls were covered with warnings,*^ 
proclamations, appeals, from the Central Committees of the 
"moderate'' and conservative factions and the Tsay-ee-kahy de- 
nouncing any ^^demonstrations," imploring the workers and 
soldiers not to listen to agitators. For instance, this from 
the Military Section of the Socialist Revolutionary party: 

Again rumours are spreading around the town of an intended 
vystuplennie. What is the source of these rumours? What or- 
ganisation authorises these agitators who preach insurrection? The 
Bolsheviki^ to a question addressed to them in the Taay-ee-kak, 
denied that they have anything to do with it . . . But these ru- 
mours themselves carry with them a great danger. It may easily 
happen that^ not taking into consideration the state of mind of the 
majority of the workers^ soldiers and peasants^ individual hot-heads 
will call out part of the workers and soldiers on the streets^ incit- 
ing them to an uprising. ... In this fearful time through which 
revolutionary Russia is passings any insurrection can easily turn 
into civil war, and there can result from it the destruction of all 
organisations of the ^proletariat, built up with so much labour* 
. . • The counter-revolutionary plotters are planning to take ad- 
vantage of this insurrection to destroy the Revolution, open th« 
front to Wilhelm, and wreck the Constituent Assembly. . • . Stid 
stubbornly to your posts! Do not come out! 

On October S8th, in the corridors of Smolny, I spoke wit! 
Kameniev, a little man with a reddish pointed beard and Gal 
lie gestures. He was not at all sure that enough delegates 
V would come. "If there is a Congress," he said, "it will repre 
sent the overwhelming sentiment of the people. If the majoK 
ity is Bolshevik, as I think it will be, we shall demand thaa 
the power be given to the Soviets, and the Provisional Grov 
ernment must resign. ..." 

Volodarsky, a tall, pale youth with glasses and a bad conci 
plexion, was more definite. "The *Lieber-Dans' and the othe 
compromisers are sabotaging the Congress. If they succeed 


in preventing its meeting, — well, then we are realists enough 
not to depend on thatT* 

Under date of October S9th I find entered in my notebook 
the following items culled from the newspapers of the day : 

Moghilev (General Staff Headquarters). Concentration here of 
loyal Guard Regiments^ the Savage Division^ Cossacks and Death 

The yunheri of the Officers' Schools of Pavlovsk, Tsarskoye 
Selo and Peterhof ordered by the Government to be ready to come 
to Petrograd. Oranienbaum yunJeers arrive in the city. 

Part of the Armoured Car Division of the Petrograd garrison 
stationed in the Winter Palace. 

Upon orders signed by Trotzky^ several thousand rifles deliv- 
ered by the Government Arms Factory at Sestroretzk to delegates 
of the Petrograd workmen. 

At a meeting of the City Militia of the Lower Liteiny Quarter^ 
a resolution demanding that all power be given to the Soviets. 

This is just a sample of the confused events of those fever- 
ish days, when everybody knew that something was going to 
happen, but nobody knew just what. 

At a meeting of the Petrograd Soviet in Smolny, the night 
of October 30th, Trotzky branded the assertions of the bour- 
geois press that the Soviet contemplated armed insurrec- 
tion as "an attempt of the reactionaries to discredit and wreck 
the Congress of Soviets. . . . The Petrograd Soviet," he de- 
clared, *Tiad not ordered any vystuplennie. If it is necessary 
we shall do so, and we will be supported by the Petrograd 
garrison. . . . They (the Government) are preparing a coun- 
ter-revolution ; and we shall answer with an offensive which will 
be merciless and decisive." 

It is true that the Petrograd Soviet had rtot ordered a 
demonstration, but the Central Committee of the Bolshevik 

*See Notes and Explanations. 



party was considering the question of insurrection. All nighi 
long the 28d they met. There were present all the party intel- 
lectuals, the leaders — and delegates of the Petrograd workers-a 
i^and garrison. Alone of the intellectuals Lenin and Trotaky 
stood for insurrection. Even the military men opposed it. 
vote was taken. Insurrection was defeated! 

Then arose a rough workman, his face convulsed with 
"I speak for the Petrograd proletariat," he said, harshly.. 
"We are in favour of insurrection. Have it your own way, but 
I tell you now that if you allow the Soviets to be destroyed, 
we*re through with your Some soldiers joined him. • • • And 
after that they voted again — ^insurrection won. . . . 

However, the right wing of the Bolsheviki, led by Riazanov, 
Kameniev anid Zinoviev, continued to campaign against an 
armed rising. On the morning of October 31st appeared in 
Rabotchi Put the first instalment of Lenin's "Letter to the 
Comrades," ** one of the most audacious pieces of political 
/ propaganda the world has ever seen. In it Lenin seriously pre- 
sented the argdments in favour of insurrection, taking as text 
the objections of Kameniev and Riazonov. 

"Either we must abandon our slogan, *A11 Power to the 
Soviets,' '* he wrote, **or else we must make an insurrection. 
There is no middle course. . . .'* 

That same afternoon Paul Miliukov, leader of the Cadets, 
made a brilliant, bitter speech^ ^ in the Council of the Republic, 
branding the Skobeliev ndkaz as pro-Grerman, declaring th«t 
the "revolutionary democracy'* was destroying Russia, sneer- 
ing at Terestchenko, and openly declaring that he preferred 
German diplomacy to Russian. . . • The Left benches were 
one roaring tumult all through. . . . 

On its part the Government could not ignore the signilS- 
cance of the success of the Bolshevik propaganda. On the 
S9th a joint commission of the Government and the Council 
of the Republic hastily drew up two laws, one for giving the 


Ic^nd temporarily to the peasants, and the other for pushing 
*ii energetic foreign policy of peace. The next day Kerensky 
suspended capital punishment in the army. That same after- 
fto«n was opened with great ceremony th^ first session of the 
tte^ "Commission for Strengthening the Republican Regime 
a^rid Fighting Against Anarchy and Counter-Revolution" — of 
^^tdch history shows not the slightest further trace. . . . The 
following morning with two other correspondents I interviewed 
KTorensky** — the last time he received journalists. 

"The Russian people," he said, bitterly, **are suffering from 
economic fatigue — and from disillusionment with the Allies! 
T^e world thinks that the Russian Revolution is at an end. 
Do not be mistaken. The Russian Revolution is just begin- 
J^Mig. • • ." Words more prophetic, perhaps, than he knew. 
Stormy was the all-night meeting of the Petrograd Soviet 
the 80th of October, at which I was present. The "moderate" 
Socialist intellectuals, officers, members of Army Committees, 
the Tsatf-ee-kah, were there in force. Against them rose 
^I> workmen, peasants and common soldiers, passionate and 

A peasant told of the disorders in Tver, which he said 
▼«re caused by the arrest of the Land Committees. "This 
Kerensky is nothing but a shield to the pomieshtchiki (land- 
owners]^" he cried. "They know that at the Constituent As- 
sembly we will take the land anyway, so they are trying to 
fcstroy the Constituent Assembly !" 
^Ji A machinist from the Putilov works described how the 
, J ^perintendents were closing down the departments one by one 
^1 ^ the pretext that there was no fuel or raw material. The 
Factory-Shop Committee, he declared, had discovered huge 

iffiiil '^en supplies. 

Hi is a provocatzia,** said he. "They want to starve us — 

drive us to violence !" 

Among the soldiers one began, "Comrades! I bring you 




greetinga from the place where men are digging their graves 
anid call them trenches!" 

Then arose a tall, gaunt young soldier, with flashing eyesy 
met with a roar of welcome. It was Tchudnovsky, reported 
killed in the July fighting, and now risen from the dead. 

^The soldier masses no longer trust their officers. Even 
the Army Committees, who refused to call a meeting of our 
Soviet, betrayed us. • . . The ma^sses of the soldiers want the 
Constituent Assembly to be held exactly when it was called 
for, and those who dare to postpone it will be cursed — and 
not only platonic curses either, for the Army has guns 
too. . . ." 

He told of the electoral campaign for the Constituent now 
raging in the Fifth Army. "The officers, and especially the 
Mensheviki and the Socialist Revolutionaries, are trying de- 
liberately to cripple the Bolsheviki. Our papers are not al- 
lowed to circulate in the trenches. Our speakers are ar- 
rested " 

"Why donH you speak about the lack of bread?" shouted 
another soldier. 

"Man shall not live by thread alone," answered Tchudnov- 
sky, sternly. . . . 

Followed him an officer, delegate from the Vitebsk Soviet, 
a Menshevik ohoronetz. "It isn't the question of who has the 
power. The trouble is not with the Government, but with the 
war . . . and the war must be won before any change — ^" At 
this, hoots and Ironical cheers. "These Bolshevik agitators 
are demagogues!" The hall rocked with laughter. "Let us 
for a moment forget the class struggle — ^" But he got no 
farther. A voice yelled, "Don't you wish we would!" 

Petrograd presented a curious spectacle in those days. In 
the factories the committee-rooms were filled with stacks of 



rifles, couriers came and went, the Red Guard* drilled. ... In 
all the barracks meetings every night, and all day long inter- 
minable hot arguments. On the streets the crowds thickened 
toward gloomy evening, pouring in slow voluble tides up and 
down the Nevsky, fighting for the newspapers. . . . Hold-ups 
increased to such an extent that it was dangerous to walk 
down side streets. . . . On the Sadovaya one afternoon I saw 
a crowd of several hundred people beat and trample to death 
a soldier caught stealing. . . . Mysterious individuals circu- 
lated around the shivering women who waited in queue long 
cold hours for bread and milk, whispering that the Jews had 
cornered the food supply — and that while the people starved, 
the Soriet members lived luxuriously. . • . 

At Smolny there were strict guards at the door and the 
outer gates, demanding everybody's pass. The committee- 
rooms buzzed and hummed all day and all night, hundreds of 
soldiers and workmen slept on the floor, wherever they could 
find room. Upstairs in the great hall a thousand people 
crowded to the uproarious sessions of the Petrograd 
Soviet. . . . 

Gambling clubs functioned hectically from dusk to dawn, 
with champagne flowing and stakes of twenty thousand rubles. 
In the centre of the city at night prostitutes in jewels and 
expensive furs walked up and down, crowded the cafes. . . . 

Monarchist plots, German spies, smugglers hatching 
schemes. • • • 

And in the rain, the bitter chill, the great throbbing city 
under grey skies rushing faster and faster toward — ^what? 

* See Notes and Explanations. 



In the relations of a weak Government and a rebellious 
I people there comes a time when every act of the authorities 
n exasperates the masses, and every refusal to act excites their 
I contempt. • . • 

I The proposal to abandon Petrograd raised a hurricane; 
Kerensky's public denial that the Government had any such 
intention was met with hoots of derision. 

Pinned to the wall by the pressure of the Revolution (cried 
Rabotchi Put), the Government of "provisional" bourgeois tries to 
get free by giving out lying assurances that it nerer thought of 
fleeing from Petrograd^ and that it didn't wish to surrender the 
capitaL • • • 

In Kharkov thirty thousand coal miners organised, adopt- 
y ing the preamble of the I. W. W. constitution: "The working 
class .and the employing class have nothing in common." Dis- 
persed by Cossacks, some were locked out by the mine-owners, 
and the rest declared a general strike. Minister of Commerce 
and Industry Konovalov appointed his assistant, Orlov, with 
plenary powers, to settle the trouble. Orlov was hated by the 
miners. But the Tsay-ee-hah not only supported his appoint- 
ment, but refused to demand that the Cossacks be recalled 
from the Don Basin. • • . 

This was followed by the dispersal of the Soviet at Kaluga. 
The Bolsheviki, having secured a majority in the Soviet, set 
free some political prisoners. With the sanction of the GrOT- 



emment Commissar the Municipal Duma caUed in troops from 
Minsk, and bombarded the Soviet headquarters with artilleiy. 
The Bolsheviki yielded, but as they left the building Cossacks 
attacked them, crying, ^This is what we'll do to all the other 
Bolshevik Soviets, including those of Moscow and PetrogradP' 
This incident sent a wave of panic rage throughout Rus- 
sia. • • • 

In Petrograd was ending a regional Congress of Soviets 
of the North, presided over by the Bolshevik Krylenko. By an 
immense majority it resolved that all power should be assumed 
by the AU-Russian Congress; and concluded by gn^^ting the 
Bolsheviki in prison, bidding them rejoice, for the hour of 
their liberation was at hand. At the same time the first All- 
Russian Conference of Factory-Shop Committees ^ declared em- 
jdiatically for the Soviets, and continued significantly. 

After liberating themselves politically from Tsardom, the work- 
ing-class wants to see the democratic regime triumphant in the 
sphere of its productive activity. This is best expressed by Work- 
ers' Control over industrial production^ which naturally arose in 
the atmosphere of economic decomposition created by the criminal 
policy of the dominating c> i^^^es: • . • 

The Union of Railwaymen was demanding the resignation 
of Liverovsky, Minister of Ways and Commimicatlons. . . . 

In the name of the Tsay-ee-kah^ Skobeliev insisted that 
the nakaz be presented at the Allied Conference, and formally 
protested against the sending of Terestchenko to Paris. Ter- 
estchenko offered to resign. ... 

General Verkhovsky, unable to accomplish his reorganisa- 
tion of the army, only came to Cabinet meetings at long in- 
tervals. • . • 

* References in this chapter refer to the Appendix to Chapter III. See 
page 830. 


On November 8d Burtzev's Obshtchee Dielo came out with 
great headlines : 

Citizens! Save the fatherland! 

I have just learned that yesterday^ at a meeting of the Commis* 
sion for National Defence, Minister of War General Verkhovsky, 
one of the principal persons responsible for the fall of Kornilov^ 
proposed to sign a separate peace, independently of the Allies. 

That is treason to Russia ! 

Terestchenko declared that the Provisional Government had 
not even examined Verkhovsky's proposition. 

"You might think," said Terestchenko^ "that we were in a mad- 
house !** 

The members of the Commission were astounded at the General's 

General Alexeyev wept. 

No! It is not madness! It is worse. It is direct treason to 
Russia ! 

Eerensky, Terestchenko and Nekrassov must immediately an- 
swer us concerning the words of Verkhovsky. 

Citizens, arise ! 

Russia is being sold ! 

Save her I 

What Verkhovsky really said was that the Allies must be 
pressed to offer peace, because the Russian army could fight 
no longer. . . . 

Both in Russia and abroad the sensation was tremendous. 
Verkhovsky was given **indefinite leave of absence for ill- 
health," and left the Government. Obshtchee Dielo was sup- 
. pressed. . . . 

Sunday, November 4th, was designated as the Day of the 
Petrograd Soviet, with immense meetings planned all over the 
city, ostensibly to raise money for the organisation and the 
press ; really, to make a demonstration of strength. Suddenly 
it was announced that on the same day the Cossacks would 


hold a Krestny Khod — ^Procession of the Cross — in honour of 
the Ikon of IGIS, through whose miraculous intervention Na- 
poleon had been driven from Moscow. The atmosphere was 
electric; a spark might kindle civil war. The Petrograd 
Soviet issued a manifesto, headed "Brothers — Cossacks !*' , 

You^ Cossacks^ are being incited against us^ workers and sol- 
diers. This plan of Cain is being put into operation bv our com- 
mon enemies^ the oppressors^ the privileged classes — generals^ bank- 
ers^ landlords^ former officials^ former servants of the Tsar. . . . 
We are hated by all grafters, rich men, princes, nobles, generals, 
including your Cossack generals. They are ready at any moment 
to destroy the Petrograd Soviet and crush the Revolution. . . . 

On the 4th of November somebody is organising a Cossack re- 
ligious procession. It is a question of the free consciousness of 
every individual whether he will or will not take part in this pro- 
cession. We do not interfere in this matter, nor do we obstruct 
anybody. . . . However, we warn you, Cossacks! Look out and 
see to it that under the pretext of a Krestni Khod, your Kaledins 
do not instigate you against workmen, against soldiers. • • • 

The procession was hastily called off. . . . 

In the barracks and the working-class quarters of the town 
the Bolsheviki were preaching, "All Power to the Soviets!'* 
and agents of the Dark Forces were urging the people to rise 
and slaughter the Jews, shop-keepers, Socialist leaders. . . . 

On one side the Monarchist press, inciting to bloody repres- 
sion — on the other Lenin's great voice roaring, "Insurrec- 
tion! . . . We cannot wait any longer!'* 

Even the bourgeois press was uneasy.^ Birjevya Viedo- 
mosti (Exchange Gazette) called the Bolshevik propaganda an 
attack on "the most elementary principles of society — personal 
security and the respect for private property." 

But it was the "moderate" Socialist journals which were 
the most hostile.' "The Bolsheviki are the most dangerous 
enemies of the Revolution," declared Dielo Naroda. Said the 

App»l of the PetroEiad Soviet to the Coiaclu to call oS theit Krtilny Khod— 
the relisiotu procetiion planned for November 4th (our calendar), "Brother*^ 
CoiMcJuI" it begina. "Tbe Petrogiad Svrict of Workers' and Soldlera' Depntlei 



Menshevik Dien^ ^^The Govemment ought to defend itself and 
defend us." Plekhanov's paper, Yedmstvo (Unity)*,' called 
the attention of the Government to the fact that the Petrograd i/^' 
workers were being armed, and demanded stern measures against 
the Bolsheviki. 

Daily the Govemment seemed to become more helpless. 
Even the Municipal administration broke down. The columns 
of the morning papers were filled with accounts of the most 
audacious robberies and murders, and the criminals were un- 

On the other hand armed workers patrolled the streets at 
night, doing battle with marauders and requisitioning arms 
wherever they found them. 

On the first of November Colonel Polkovnikov, Military 
Copmiander of Petrograd, issued*a proclamation: 

Despite the difficult days through which the country is passings 
irresponsible appeals to armed demonstrations and massacres are 
still being spread around Petrograd^ and from day to day robbery 
and disorder increase. 

This state of things is disorganising the life of the citizens^ 
and hinders the systematic work of the Government and the Mu- 
nicipal Institutions. 

In full consciousness of my responsibility and my duty before 
my country^ I command: 

1. Every military unit^ in accordance with special instructions 
and within the territory of its garrison^ to afford every assistance 
to the Municipality^ to the Commissars^ and to the militia^ in the 
guarding of Government institutions. 

2. The organisation of patrols^ in co-operation with the District 
Commander and the representatives of the city militia^ and the 
taking of measures for the arrest of criminals and deserters. 

3. The arrest of all persons entering barracks and inciting 
to armed demonstrations and massacres^ and their delivery to the 
headquarters of the Secopd Commander of the city* 



4. To suppress any armed demonstration or riot at its starts with 
all armed forces at hand. 

5. To afford assistance to the Commissars in preventing un- 
warranted searches in houses and unwarranted arrests. 

6. To report immediately all that happens in the district under 
charge to the Staff of the Petrograd Military District. 

I call upon all Army Committees and organisations to afford 
their help to the commanders in fulfilment of the duties with which 
they are charged. 

In the Council of the Republic Kerensky declared that 
the Government was fully aware of the Bolshevik preparations, 
and had sufficient force to cope with any demonstration.^ He 
accused Novaya RtM and Rabotchi Put of both doing the same 
kind of subversive work. "But owing to the absolute freeilom 
of the press," he added, "the Government is not in a position 
to combat printed lies.* . . ." Declaring that these were two 
aspects of the same propaganda, which had for its object the 
counter-revolution, so ardently desired by the Dark Forces, 
he went on: 

"I am a doomed man, it doesn't matter what happens to me, 
and I have the audacity to say that the other enigmatic part 
is that of the unbelievable provocation created in the city by 
the Bolsheviki !" 

On November 2d only fifteen delegates to the Congress of 
Soviets had arrived. Next day there were a hundred, and 
the morning after that a hundred and seventy-five, of whom 
one hundred and three were Bolsheviki. . . . Four hundred 
constituted a quorum, and the Congress was only three 
days off. . . . 

I spent a great deal of time at Smolny. It was no longer 
easy to get in. Double rows of sentries guarded the outer 
gates, and once inside the front door there was a long line of 

* This was not quite candid. The Provisional Government had sup- 
pressed Bolshevik papers before, in July, and was planning to do so again. 


peo]^ waiting to be let in, fouc at a time, to be questioned 
as to their identity and their business. Passes were given 
oat, and the pass system was changed every few hours; for 
spies continually sneaked through. . . . 

BMns-Pevoniioi. _ 

IBTP. C. t s C. fl: 


cpoKOm no /<fer'-^;d. - 

Ha npaeo CBo6o3Haro BSOal B^C^HUlb- 
HuA Mhctht^tI}. 

HoMOHdaiinn ^ ' ^_^ 

IfiUtUT Revolutionary Commit 

BtUched to the 

Petjt>grad Soviet of W. & S. : 

Commandant'! office 

le Hililaty RnolutJonai? Con 

It coTTCBponacni oi toe Amc 
entry into Smolny Inatitulc. 

One day as I came up to the outer gate I saw Trotzky 
and his wife just ahead of me. They were halted by a soldier. 
Trotzky searched through his pockets, but could find no pass. 

"Never mind," he said finally. "You know me. My name 
is Trotzky." 

"You haven't got a pass," answered the soldier stubbornly. 
**You cannot go in. Names don't mean anything to me," 


^^But I am the president of the PetFograd Soviet." 
- **Well," replied the soldier, "if you're As important a fellow 
as that you must at least have one little paper." 

Trotzky was very patient. "Let me see the Commandant,'* 
he sai^d. The soldier hesitated, grumbling something about 
not wanting to disturb the Commandant for every devil that 
came along. He beckoned finally to the soldier in command 
of the guard. Trotzky explained matters to him. "My name 
is Trotzky," he repeated. 

"Trotzky?" The other soldier scratched his head. "I've 
heard the name somewhere," he said at length. *^I guess it's 
all right. You can go on in, comrade. . . ." 

In the corridor I met Karakhan, member of the Bolshevik 
Central Committee, who explained to me what the new Gov- 
ernment would be like. 
/ "A loose organisation, sensitive to the popular will as ex- 
pressed through tile Soviets, allowing local forces full play* 
At present the Provisional Government obstructs the action 
of the local democratic will, just a,s the Tsar's Government 
v^ did. The initiative of the new society shall come from be- 
low. . . . The form of the Government will be modelled on 
the Constitution of the Russian Social Democratic Labour 
Party. The new Tsay-ee-kdhy responsible to frequent meetings 
of the All-Russian Congress of Soviets, will be the parliament ; 
the various Ministries will be headed by collegia — committees — 
instead of by Ministers, and will be directly responsible to the 
Soviets. . . ." 

On October SOth, by appointment, I went up to a small, 
bare room in the attic of Smolny, to talk with Trotzky. In 
the middle of the room he sat on a rough chair at a bare table. 
Few questions from me were necessary; he talked rapidly and 
steadily, for more than an hour. The substance of his talk, 
in his own words, I give here: 

"The Provisional Government is absolutely powerless. The 


bourgeoisie is in control, but this control is masked by a fie 
titious coalition with the oborontsi parties. Now, during the 
Revolution, one sees revolts of peasants who are tired of wait- 
ing for their promised land; and all over the country, in all 
the toiling classes, the same disgust is evident. This domina* 
tion by the bourgeoisie is only possible by means of civil war. 
The Kornilov method is the only way by which the bourgeoisie 
can control. But it is force which the bourgeoisie lacks. . . . t/ 
The Army is with us. The conciliators and pacifists, Socialist 
Revolutionaries and Mensheviki, have lost all authority — ^be- 
cause the struggle between the peasants and the landlords, be- 
tween the workers and the employers, between the soldiers and 
the officers, has become more bitter, more irreconcilable than 
ever. Only by the concerted action of the popular mass, only 
by the victory of proletarian dictatorship, can the Revolution 
be achieved and the people saved. . . . 

"The Soviets are the most perfect representatives of the 
people — ^perfect in their revolutionary experience, in their 
ideas and objects. Based directly upon the army in the 
trenches, the workers in the factories, and the peasants in the 
fields, they are the backbone -of the Revolution. 

**There has been an attempt to create a power without the 
Soviets — ^and only powerlessness has been created. Counter- 
revolutionary schemes of all sorts are now being hatched in 
the corridors of the Council of the Russian Republic. The 
Cadet party represents the counter-revolution militant. On 
the other side, the Soviets represent the cause of the people. 
Between the two camps there are no groups of serious impor- 
tance. ... It is the lutte finale. The bourgeois counter-revo- 
lution organises all its forces and waits for the moment to 
attack us. Our answer will be decisive. We will complete the 
work scarcely begun in March, and advanced during the 
Kornilov aiFair. . • •'* 



He went on to speak of the new Government's foreign 
policy : 

^^Our fir^t act will be to call for an immediate armistice 
on all fronts, and a conference of peoples to discuss demo- 
cratic peace terms. The quantity of democracy we get in 
the peace settlement depends on the quantity of revolutionary 
response there is in Europe. If we create here a Government 
of the Soviets, that will be a powerful factor for immediate 
peace in Europe; for this Government will address itself 
directly and immediately to all peoples, over the heads of their 
Governments, proposing an armistice. At the moment of the 
conclusion of peace the pressure of the Russian Revolution will 
be in the direction of ^no annexations, no indemnities, the right 
of self-determination of peoples,' and a Federated Republic of 
Europe, . . . 

"At the end of this war I see Europe recreated, not by 
the diplomats, but by the proletariat. The Federated Repub- 
lic of Europe — the United States of Europe — that is what 
must be. National autonomy no longer suffices. Economic 
evolution demands the abolition of national frontiers. If Eu- 
rope is to remain split into national groups, then Imperialism 
will recommence its work. Only a Federated Republic of 
Europe can give peace to the world." He smiled — that fine, 
faintly ironical smile of his. "But without the action of the 
European masses, these ends cannot be realised — ^now. . . .** y 

Now while everybody was waiting for the Bolsheviki to 
appear suddenly on the streets one morning and begin to 
shoot down people with white collars on, the real insurrection 
took its way quite naturally and openly. 

The Provisional Government planned to send the Petrograd 
garrison to the front. 

The Petrograd garrison numbered about sixty thousand 
men, who had taken a prominent part in the Revolution. It ^«« 


was they who had Mmed the tide in the great days of March, 
created the Soviets of Soldiers' Deputies, and hurled back 
Eornilov from the gates of Petrograd. 

Now a large part of them were Bolsheviki. When the 
Provisional Government talked of evacuating the city, it was 
the Petrograd garrison which answered, "If you are not capable 
of defending the capital, conclude peace ; if you cannot con- 
dude peace, go away and make room for a People's Govern- 
ment which can do both. . • ." / 

It was evident that any attempt at insurrection depended K 
upon the attitude of the Petrograd garrison. The Govern- J 
ment's plan was to replace the garrison regiments with "de- ! j 
pendable" troops — Cossacks, Death Battalions. The Army I | 
Committees, the "moderate" Socialists and the Tsay-ee-kah \ 
supported the Government. A wide-spread agitation was car- 
ried on at the Front and in Petrograd, emphasizing the fact 
that for eight months the Petrograd garrison had been leading 
an easy life in the barracks of the capital, while their exhausted 
comrades in the trenches starved and died. 

Naturally there was some truth in the accusation that the 
garrison regiments were reluctant to exchange their compara- 
tive comfort for the hardships of a winter campaign. But 
there were other reasons why they refused to gd. The Petro- 
grad Soviet feared the Government's intentions, and from ; 
the Front came hundreds of delegates, chosen by the common ^ 
soldiers, crying, "It is true we need reinforcements, but more 
important, we must know that Petrograd and the Revolution 
are well-guarded. • • . Do you hold the rear, comrades, and 
we will hold the front !" 

On October S5th, behind closed doors, the Central Com* 
mittee of the Petrograd Soviet discussed the formation of a 
special Military Committee to decide the whole question. The 
next day a meeting of the Soldiers' Section of the Petrograd 
Soviet elected a Committee, which immediately proclaimed a 


boycott of the bourgeois newspapers, and condemned the Tsay- 
ee-kah for opposing the Congress of Soviets. On the S9th, 
in open session of the Petrograd Soviet, Trotzky proposed 
that the Soviet formally sanction the Military Revolutionary 
Committee. "We ought," he said, "to create our special or- 
ganisation to march to battle, and if necessary to die. . • •" It 
was decided to send to the front two delegations, one from the 
Soviet and one from the garrison, to confer with the Soldiers' 
Committees and the General StaiF. 

At Pskov, the Soviet delegates were met by Greneral Tchere- 
missov, commander of the Northern Front, with the curt 
declaration that he had ordered the Petrograd garrison to 
the trenches, and that was all. The garrison committee was 
not allowed to leave Petrograd. . . . 

A delegation of the Soldiers' Section of the Petrograd 
Soviet asked that a representative be admitted to the Staff of 
the Petrograd District. Refused. The Petrograd Soviet de- 
manded that no orders be issued without the approval of the 
Soldiers' Section. Refused. The delegates were roughly told, 
"We only recognise the Tsay-ee-kah. We do not recognise you ; 
if you break any laws, we shall arrest you." 

On the 30th a meeting of representatives of all the Petro- 
grad regiments passed a resolution : ^*The Petrograd garrison 

longer recognises the Provisional Government. The Petro- 
rad Soviet %s our Government. We mU obey only the orders 
of the Petrograd Soviet^ through the Military Revolutionary 
Conmuttee.^^ The local military units were ordered to wait 
for instructions from the Soldiers' Section of the Petrograd 

Next day the Tsay-ee-kah summoned its own meeting, com- 
posed largely of officers, formed a Committee to cooperate 
with the Staff, and detailed Commissars in all quarters of the 

A great soldier meeting at Smolny on the Sd resolved: 


Saluting the creation of the Military Revolutionary Committee^ 
the Petrograd garrison promises it complete support in all its ac- 
tions^ to unite more closely the front and the rear in the interests 
of the Revolution. 

The garrison moreover declares that with the revolutionary 
proletariat it assures the maintenance of revolutionary order in 
Petrograd. Every attempt at provocation on the part of the Kor- 
nilovtsi or the bourgeoisie will be met with merciless resistance. 

Now conscious of its power, the Military Revolutionary 
Committee peremptorily summoned the Petrograd StaiF to 
submit to its control. To all printing plants it gave orders 
not to publish any appeals or proclamations without the Com- 
mittee's authorisation. Armed Commissars visited the Kron- 
yersk arsenal and seized great quantities of arms and ammuni- 
tion, halting a shipment of ten thousand bayonets which was 
being sent to Novotcherkask, headquarters of Kaledin. . . . 

Suddenly awake to the danger, the Government offered im- 
munity if the Committee would disband. Too late. At mid- 
night November 6th Kerensky himself sent Malevsky to offer 
the Petrograd Soviet representation on the Staff. The Mili- 
tary Revolutionary Committee accepted. An hour later Gen- 
eral Manikovsky, acting Minister of war, countermanded the 
offer. • • • 

Tuesday morning, November 6th, the city was thrown into 
excitement by the appearance of a placard signed, "Military 
Revolutionary Committee attached to the Petrograd Soviet of 
Workers' and Soldiers' Deputies." 

To the Population of Petrograd. Citizens! 

Counter-revolution has raised its criminal head. The Eornil- 

ovtsi are mobilising their forces in order to crush the AU-Russian 

Congress of Soviets and break the Constituent Assembly. At 

tile same time the pogromists may attempt to call upon the people 

o/* Petrograd for trouble and bloodshed. The Petrograd Soviet 


of Workers' and Soldiers' Deputies takes upon itself the guarding 
of revolutionary order in the city against counter-revolutionary and 
pogrom attempts. 

The Petrograd garrison will not allow any violence or disorders. 
The population is invited to arrest hooligans and Black Hundred 
agitators and take them to the Soviet Commissars at the nearest 
barracks. At the first attempt of the Dark Forces to make trouble 
on the streets of Petrograd^ whether robbery or fightings ■ the 
criminals will be wiped off the face of the earth! 

Citizens! We call upon you to maintain complete quiet and 
. self-possession. The cause of order and Revolution is in strong; 

List of regiments where there are Commissars of the Military 
Revolutionary Committee. • • • 

On the Srd the leaders of the Bolsheviki had another his- 
toric meeting behind closed doors. Notified by Zalkind, I 
waited in the corridor outside the door; and Volodarsky as he 
came out told me what was going on. 

Lenin spoke: ^^November 6th will be too early. We must 
have an all-Russian basis for the rising; and on the 6th all 
the delegates to the Congress will not have arrived. . . • On 
the other hand, November 8th will be too late. By that time 
the Congress will be organised, and it is difficult for a large 
organised body of people to take swift, decisive action. We 
; must act on the 7th, the day the Congress meets, so that we 
y may say to it, *Here is the power! What are you going to 
do with it?''' 

In a certain upstairs room sat a thin-faced, long-haired 
individual, once an officer in the armies of the Tsar, then revo- 
lutionist and exile, a certain Avseenko, called Antonov, mathe- 
matician and chess-player; he was drawing careful plans foe 
the seizure of the capital. 

On its side the Government was preparing. Inconspicu— 


oosly ^certain of the most loyal regiments, from widely-sepa- 
rated divisions, wfere ordered to PetragraicL The ywnker 
artillery was drawn into the Winter Palace. Patrols of Cos- 
sacks made their appearance in the streets, for the first time 
since the July days. Polkovnikoy issued order after order, 
threatening to repress all insubordination with the '^utmost 
energy.*' Eishkin, Minister of Public Instruction, the worst- 
hated member of the Cabinet, was appointed Special Commissar 
to keep order in Petrograd; he named as assistants two men 
no less unpopular, Rutenburg and Paltchinsky. Petrograd, 
Cronstadt and Finland were declared in a state of siege — upon 
which the bourgeois Niyooye Vremya (New Times) remarked 

Why the state of siege? The Government is no longer a power. It 
has no moral authority and it does not possess the necessary apparatus to 
use force. ... In the most favourable circumstances it can only ne- 
gotiate with any one who consents to parley. Its authority goes no far- 
ther. • . . 

Monday morning, the 5th, I dropped in at the Marinsky 
Palace, to see what was happening in the Council of the Russian 
Republic. Bitter debate on Terestchenko's foreign policy. 
Echoes of the Burtzev-Verkhovski affair. All the diplomats 
present except the Italian ambassador, who everybody said 
was prostrated by the Carso disaster. . . . 

As I came in, the Left Socialist Revolutionary Karelin was 
reading aloud an editorial from the London Times which said, 
**The remedy for Bolshevism is bullets P' Turning to the 
Cadets he cried, "That's what you think, too !'* 

Voices from the Right, "Yes ! Yes !" 

**Yes, I know you think so,'' answered EareUn, hotly^ 
**But you haven't the courage to try it !" 

Then Skobeliev, looking like a mating idol with his soft 
blond beard and wavy yellow hair, rather apologetically de- 
fending the Soviet nakaz. Terestchenko followed, assailed 


from the Left by cries of ^^Resignation! Resignation!" He 
insisted that the delegates of the Government and of the 
Tsay-ee-kah to Paris should have a common point of view — 
his own. A few words about the restoration of discipline in 
the army, about war to victory. . . .Tumult, and over the 
stubborn opposition of the truculent Left, the Council of the 
Republic passed to the simple order of the day. 

There stretched the rows of Bolshevik seats — empty since 
that first day when they left the Council, carrying with them 
so much life. As I went down the stairs it seemed to me that 
in spite of the bitter wrangling, no real voice from the rough 
world outside could penetrate this high, cold hall, and that the 
Provisional Government was wrecked — on the same rock of 
War and Peace that had wrecked the Miliukov Ministry. . . • 
The doorman grumbled as he put on my coat, "I don't know 
what is becoming of poor Russia. All these Mensheviki and 
Bolsheviki and Trudoviki. . . . This Ukraine and this Fin- 
land and the German imperialists and the English imperialists. 
I am forty-five years old, and in all my life I never heard so 
many words as in this place. . . •" 

In the corridor I met Professor Shatsky, a rat-faced indi- 
vidual in a dapper frock-coat, very influential in the councils 
of the Cadet jxarty. I asked him what he thought of the 
much-talked-pf Bolshevik vffstuplenme. He shrugged, sneer- 

"They are cattle — canaiUe,^^ he answered. "They will not 
dare, or if they dare they will soon be sent flying. From our 
point of view it will not be bad, for then they will ruin them- 
selves and have no power in the Constituent Assembly. . . • 

**But, my dear sir, allow me to outline to you my plan for 
a form of Government to be submitted to the Constituent As- 
sembly. You see, I am chairmaa of a commission appointed 
from this body, in conjunction with the Provisional Govern- 
ment, to work out a constitutional project. . . . We will 


haVe a legislative assembly of two chambers, such as you have 
in the United States. In the lower chamber will be territorial 
representatives; in the upper, representatives of the libera] 
professions, zemstvos, Cooperatives — and Trade Unions. • . ." 

Outside a chill, damp wind came from the west, and the cold 
mud underfoot soaked through my shoes. Two companies 
of ffwnJcera passed swinging up the Morskaya, tramping stiffly 
in their long coats and singing an oldtime crashing chorus, 
such as the soldiers used to sing under the Tsar. ... At the 
first cross-street I noticed that the City Militiamen were 
mounted, and armed with revolvers in bright new holsters; 
a little group of people stood silently staring at them. At 
the corner of the Nevsky I bought a pamphlet by Lenin, *TVill 
the Bolsheviki be Able to Hold the Power?" paying for it with 
one of the stamps which did duty for small change. The 
usual street-cars crawled past, citizens and soldiers clinging 
to the outside in a way to make Theodore P. Shonts green 
with envy. • . . Along the sidewalk a row of deserters in 
uniform sold cigarettes and sunflower seeds. • . • 

Up the Nevsky in the sour twilight crowds were battling 
for the latest papers, and knots of people were trying to make 
out the multitudes of appeals^ and proclamations pasted in 
every flat place; from the Tsay-ee-kah, the Peasants' Soviets, 
the '^moderate" Socialist parties, the Army Committees — 
threatening, cursing, beseeching the workers and soldiers to 
stay home, to support the Government. ... 

An armoured automobile went slowly up and down, siren 
screaming. On every comer, in every open space, thick 
groups were clustered; arguing soldiers and students. Night 
came swiftly down, the wide-spaced street-lights flickered on, 
the tides of people flowed endlessly. • • • It is always like that 
in Petrograd just before trouble. . . . 

The city was nervous, starting at every sharp sound. But 
still no sign from the Bolsheviki; the soldiers stayed in the 


barracks, the workmen in the factories. • • • We went to a 
moving picture show near the Kazan Cathedral — a bloody 
Italian fihn of passion and intrigue. Down front were some 
soldiers and sailors, staring at the screen in childlike wonder, 
totally unable to comprehend why there should be so much 
violent running about, and so much homicide. . . • 

From there I hurried to Smolny. In room 10 on the top 
floor, the Military Revolutionary Committee sat in continuous 
session, under the chairmanship of a tow-headed, eighteen-year- 
old boy named Lazimir. He stopped, as he passed, to shake 
hands rather bashfully. 

"Peter-Paul Fortress has just come over to us,'* said he, 
with a pleased grin. "A minute ago we got word from a 
regiment that was ordered by the Government to come to 
Petrograd. The men were suspicious, so they stopped the train 
at Gatchina and sent a delegation to us. ^What's the mat- 
ter?' they asked. *What have you got to say? We have just 
passed a resolution, "All Power to the Soviets.'' ' . . . The 
Military Revolutionary Committee sent back word, 'Brothers ! 
We greet you in the name of the Revolution. Stay where you 
are until further instructions !' " 

All telephones, he said, were cut off: but communication 
with the factories and barracks was established by means of 
niilitary telephonograph apparatus. . • . 

A steady stream of couriers and Commissars came and 
went. Outside the door waited a dozen volunteers, ready to 
carry word to the farthest quarters of the city. One of them, 
a gypsy-faced man in the uniform of a lieutenant, said in 
French, "Everything is ready to move at the push of a but- 
ton. • . ." 

There passed Podvoisky, the thin, bearded civillian whose 
brain conceived the strategy of insurrection; Antonov, un- 
shaven, his collar filthy, drunk with loss of sleep; Erylenko, 
the squat, wide-faced soldier, always smiling, with his violent 


gestures and tumbling speech; and Dybenko, the giant bearided 
sailor with the placid face. These were the men of the hour — 
and of other hours to come. 

Downstairs in the office of the Factory-Shop Committees 
sat Seratov, signing orders on the Government Arsenal for ^ 
arms — one hundred and fifty rifles for each factory. . . . Dele- 
gates waited in line, forty of them. . . . 

"fy the hall I ran into some of the minor Bolshevik leaders. 
One showed me a revolver. "The game is on," he said, and his 
face was pale. "Whether we move or not the other side knows 
it must finish us or be finished. ..." 

The Petrograd Soviet was meeting day and night. As I 
came into the great hall Trotzky was just finishing. 

**We are asked," he said, "if we intend to have a vystw- 
plennie. I can give a clear answer to that question. The 
Petrograd Soviet feels that at last the moment has arrived 
when the power must fall into the hands of the Soviets. This 
transfer of government will be accomplished by the AU-Russian 
Congress. Whether an armed demonstration is necessary will 
depend on . . . those who wish to interfere with the All-Rus- 
sian Congress. . . . 

"We feel that our Government, entrusted to the personnel 
of the Provisional Cabinet, is a pitiful and helpless Govern- 
ment, which only awaits the sweep of the broom of History 
to give way to a really popular Government. But we are , 
trying to avoid a conflict, even now, to-day. We hope that 
the AU-Russian Congress will take . . . into its hands that 
power and authority which rests upon the organised freedom 
of the people. If, however, the Government wants to utilise 
the short period it is expected to live — twenty-four, forty- 
eight, or seventy-two hours — to attack us, then we shall answer 
with counter-attacks, blow for blow, steel for iron!" 

Amid cheers he announced that the Left Socialist Revolu- 



tionaries had agreed to send representatives into the Military 
Revolutionary Committee. . . . 

As I left Smolny, at three o'clock in the morning, I noticed 
that two rapid-firing guns had been mounted, one on each 
side of the door, and that strong patrols of soldiers guarded 
the gates and the near-by street-corners. Bill Shatov* came 
bounding up the steps. "Well," he cried, "We're off ! Keren- 
sky sent the fpmkerg to close down our papers, Soldat and 
Rabotchi Put. But our troops went down and smashed the 
Grovfemment seals, and now we're sending detachments to 
seize the bourgeois newspaper offices!" Exultantly he slapped 
me on the shoulder, and ran in. • • • 

On the morning of the 6th I had business with the censor, 
whose office was in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Every- 
where, on all the walls, hysterical appeals to the people to 
remain "calm." Polkovnikov emitted prikaz after prikaz: 

I order all military units and detachments to remain in their 
barracks until further orders from the Staff of the Military Dis- 
trict. • • . All officers who act without oraers from their superiors 
will be court-martialled for mutiny. I forbid absolutely any execu- 
tion by soldiers of instructions from other organisations. . . • 

The morning papers announced that the Government had 
suppressed the papers Novaya Rus, Zhivoye Slovo^ Rabotchi 
Put and Soldaty and decreed the arrest of the leaders of the 
Petrograd Soviet and the members of the Military Revolu- 
tionary Committee. . • . 

As I crossed the Palace Square several batteries of ywnker 
artillery came through the Red Arch at a jingling trot, and 
drew up before the Palace. The great red building of .the 
Greneral Staff was unusually animated, several armoured auto- 
mobiles ranked before the door, and motors full of officers were 

Well known in the American labor movement. 


coming and going. • • • The censor was very much excited, 
like a small boy at a circus. Kerensky, he said, had just ^ 
gone to the Council of the Republic to offer his resignation. 
I hurried down to the Marinsky Palace, arriving at the end of 
that passionate and afanost incoherent speech of Kerensky's, 
full of self-justification and 1>itter denunciation of his enemies. 

*^I will cite here the most characteristic passage from a 
whole series of articles published in Rabotchi Put by Ulianov- 
Lenin, a state criminal who is in hiding and whom we are 
trying to find. • . • This state criminal has invited the prole- 
tariat and the Petrograd garrison to repeat the experience of 
the 16th-18th of July, and insists upon the immediate neces- 
sity for an armed rising. . • • Moreover, other Bolshevik 
leaders have taken the floor in a series of meetings, and also 
made an appeal to immediate insurrection. Particularly 
should be noticed the activity of the present president of the 
Petrograd Soviet, Bronstein-Trotzky. • . • 

^^I ought to bring to your notice • • • that the expressions 
and the style of a whole series of articles in Rabotchi Put and 
Soldat resemble absolutely those of Novaya Rus. • . • We 
have to do not so much with the movement of such and such 
political party, as with the exploitation of the political igno- 
rance and criminal instincts of a part of the population, a 
sort of organisation whose object it is to provoke in Russia, 
cost what it may, an inconscient movement of destruction and 
pillage ; for given the state of mind of the masses, any move- 
ment at Petrograd will be followed by the most terrible mas- 
sacres, which will cover with eternal shame the name of free 
Russia. . • • 

^^ . . . By the admission of Ulianov-Lenin himself, the 
situation of the extreme left wing of the Social Democrats in 
Russia is very favourable." (Here Kerensky read the follow- 
ing quotation from Lenin's article.): 


Think of it! • • . The German comrades have only one Lieb- 
knecht^ without newspapers^ without freedom of meetings without a 
Soviet. . • • They are opposed by the iiicredible hostility of all 
classes of society — and yet the German comrades try to act; while 
we^ having dozens of newspapers^ freedom of meetings the majority 
of the Soviets^ we^ the best-placed international proletarians of the 
entire worlds can we refuse to support the German revolutionists 
and insurrectionary organisations? . . . 

Kerensky then continued: 

^^The organisers of rebellion recognise thus implicitly that 
the most perfect conditions for the free action of a political 
party obtain now in Russia, administered by a Provisional 
Government at the head of which is, in the eyes of this party, 
*a usurper and a man who has sold himself to the bourgeoisie, 
the Minister-President Kerensky. . . .* 

^S . • The organisers of the insurrection do not come to 
the aid of the German proletariat, but of the Grerman govern- 
ing classes, and they open the Russian front to the iron fists 
of Wilhelm and his friends. . . . Little matter to the Provi- 
sional Government the motives of these people, little matter if 
they act consciously or unconsciously; but in any case, from 
this tribune, in full consciousness of my responsibility, I qualify 
such acts of a Russian political party as acts of treason 
to Russia! 

"... I place myself at the point of view of the Right, and 
I propose immediately to proceed to an investigation and 
make the necessary arrests." (Uproar from the Left,) 
**Listen to me !" he cried in a powerful voice. "At the moment 
when the state is in danger, because of conscious or unconscious 
treason, the Provisional Government, and myself among others, 
prefer to be killed rather than betray the life, the honour 
and the independence of Russia. . . ." 

At this moment a paper was handed to Kerensky. 

"I have just received the proclamation which they are dis- 


tiibuting to the regiments. Here is the contents.'' Reading: 

" 'The Petrograd Soviet of Workers* and Soldiers' Deputies 
is menaced. We order vmmediately the regiments to mobilise 
(yn a war footing and to ateait new orders. AU delay or nonr 
execution of this order will he considered as an act of treason 
to the Revolution. The Military Revolutionary Committee. 
For the President^ Podvoisky. The Secretary, Antonov* 

*^In reality, this is an attempt to raise the populace against 
the existing order of things, to break the Constituent and to 
open the front to the regiments of the iron fist of Wil- 
helm. • • • 

**I say 'populace' intentionally, because the conscious de- 
mocracy and its Tsay-ee-kahy all the Army organisations, 
all that free Russia glorifies, the good sense, the honour and 
the conscience of the great Russian democracy, protests 
against these things. . . . 

"I hav/not come here with a prayer, but to state my firm 
conviction that the Provisional Gk)vernment, which defends at 
this moment our new liberty — that the new Russian state, 
destined to a brilliant future, will find unanimous support ex- 
cept among those who have never dared to face the truth. . . . 

". . . The Provisional Government has never violated the 
liberty of all citizens of the State to use their political 
rights. . . . But now the Provisional Government . . . de- 
clares: in this moment those elements of the Russian nation, 
those groups and parties who have dared to lift their hands 
against the free will of the Russian people, at the same time 
threatening to open the front to Germany, must be liquidated 
with decision! . . • 

"Let the population of Petrograd understand that it will 
encounter a firm power, and perhaps at the last moment good 
sense, conscience and honour will triumph in the hearts of 
those who still possess them. . . ," 


All through this speech, the hall rang with deafening 
clamour. When the Minister-President had steppe^ down, 
pale-faced and wet with perspiration, and strode out with his 
suite of officers, speaker after speaker from the Left and 
Centre attacked the Right, all one angry roaring. Even the 
Socialist Revolutionaries, through Gotz: 

^^The policy of the Bolsheviki is demagogic and criminal, 
in their exploitation of the popular discontent. But there 
is a whole series of popular demands which have received no 
satisfaction up to now. . • . The questions of peace, land and 
the democratization of the army ought to be stated in such a 
fashion that no soldier, peasant or worker would have the least 
doubt that our Government is attempting, firmly and infallibly, 
to solve them. . . . 

*TVe Mensheviki do not wish to provoke a Cabinet crisis, 
( and we are ready to defend the Provisional Government with 
all our energy, to the last drop of our blood — ^if only the Provi- 
sional Government, on all these burning questions, will speak 
the clear and precise words awaited by the people with such 
j impatience. . . ." 

Then Martov, furious: 

"The words of the Minister-President, who allowed him- 
self to speak of ^populace' when it is question of the movements 
of important sections of the proletariat and the army — al-_ 
though led in the wrong direction — are nothing but an incil 
ment to civil war." 

The order of the day proposed by the Left was voted, 
amounted practically to a vote of lack of confidence. 

1. The armed demonstration which has been preparing for soioe 
days past has for its object a coup d'etat, threatens to provoke 
civil war, creates conditions favourable to pogroms and counter 
revolution, the mobilization of counter-revolutionary forces, such as 
the Black Hundreds, which will inevitably bring about the impoa* 
sibility of convoking the Constituent, will cause a military catastro- 


phe^ the death of the Revolution^ paralyse the economic life of the 
conntry and destroy Russia; 

2. The conditions favourable to this agitation have been created 
by delay in passing urgent measures^ as well as objective conditions 
caused by the war and the general disorder. It is necessary before 
everything to promulgate at once a decree transmitting the land to 
the peasants' Land Committees^ and to adopt an energetic course 
of action abroad in proposing to the Allies to proclaim their peace- 
terms and to begin peace-parleys ; 

5. To cope with Monarchist manifestations and pogromut move- 
ments^ it is indispensable to take immediate measures to suppress 
these movements^ and for this purpose to create at Petrograd a 
Committee of Public Safety, composed of representatives of the 
Municipality and the organs of the revolutionary democracy, act- 
ing in contact with the Provisional Government. . • . 

It is interesting to note that the Mensheviki and Socialist 
Revolutionaries all rallied to tiiis resolution. • • . When 
Kerensky saw it, however, he summoned Avksentiev to the 
Winter Palace to explain. If it expressed a lack of confidence 
in the Provisional Government, he begged Avksentiev to 
form a new Cabinet. Dan, Gotz and Avksentiev, the leaders 
of the ^^compromisers," performed their last compromise. . • • 
They explained to Kerensky that it was not meant as a criti- 
cism of the Government ! 

At the comer of the Morskaya and the Nevsky, squads of 
soldiers with fixed bayonets were stopping all private auto- 
mobiles, turning out the occupants, and ordering them toward 
the Winter Palace. A large crowd had gathered to watch 
them. Nobody knew whether the soldiers belonged to the 
Grovermnent or the Military Revolutionary Committee. Up 
in front of the Kazan Cathedral the same thing was happening, 
machines being directed back up the Nevsky. Five or six 
sailors with rifles came along, laughing excitedly, and fell into 




conversation with two of the soldiers. On the sailors' hat 
bands were Avrora and Zaria Svobody^ — ^the names of 
the leading Bolshevik cruisers of the Baltic Fleet. One of 
them said, ^^Cronstadt is coming!" ... It was as if, in 179%» 
on the streets of Paris, some one had said: ^^The Marseillais 
are coming!" For at Cronstadt were twenty-five thousand 
sailors, convinced Bolsheviki and not afraid to die. • • . 

Rabotchi i Soldat was just out, all its front page one huge 
proclamation : 


The enemies of the people passed last night to the offensive. 
The Komilovists of the Staff are trying to draw in from the 
suburbs yunkers and volunteer battalions. The Oranienbaum yui^ 
kers and the Tsarskoye Selo volunteers refused to come out. A 
stroke of high treason is being contemplated against the Petrograd 
Soviet. . . . The campaign of the counter-revolutionists is being 
directed against the All-Russian Congress of Soviets on the eve 
of its openings against the Constituent Assembly, against the 
people. The Petrograd Soviet is guarding the Revolution. The 
Military Revolutionary Committee is directing the repulse of the 
conspirators' attack. The entire garrison and proletariat of Petro- 
grad are ready to deal the enemy of the people a crushing blow. 

The Military Revolutionary Committee decrees: 

1. All regimental^ division and battle-ship Committees, together 
with the Soviet Commissars^ and all revolutionary organisations^ 
shall meet in continuous session, concentrating in their hands all 
information about the plans of the conspirators. 

2. Not one soldier shall leave his division without permission 
of the Committee. 

3. To send to Smolny at once two delegates from each military 
unit and &ye from each Ward Soviet 

4. All members of the Petrograd Soviet and all delegates .to 
the AU-Russian Congress are invited immediately to Smolny for 
an extraordinary meeting. 

Counter-revolution has raised its criminal head. 


A grea« danger threatens all the conqueats and hopes of the 
soldiers and workers. 

But the forces of the Revolution by far exceed those of its 

The cause of the People is in strong hands. The conspirators 
will be crushed. 

No hesitation or doubts! Firmness^ steadfastness^ discipline, 
determination ! 

Long live the Revolution ! 

The Military Revolutionary Committee. 

The Petrograd Soviet was meeting continuously at Smolny, 
a centre of storm, delegates falling down asleep on the floor 
and rising again to take part in the debate, Trotzky, Kameniev, 
Volodarsky speaking six, eight, twelve hours a day. . . . 

I went down to room 18 on the first floor where the Bol- 
shevik delegates were holding caucus, a harsh voice steadily 
booming, the speaker hidden by the crowd : "The compromisers 
say that we are isolated. Pay no attention to them. Once 
it begins they must be dragged along with us, or else lose 
their following. . . .'* 

Here he held up a piece of paper. **We are dragging 
them! A message has just come from the Mensheviki and 
Socialist Revolutionaries! They say that they condemn our 
action, but that if the Government attacks us they will not 
oppose the cause of the proletariat !" Exultant shouting. • . • 

As night fell the great hall filled with soldiers and work- 
men, a monstrous dun mass, deep-humming in a blue haze of 
smoke. The old Taaif-ee-kah had finally decided to welcome 
the delegates to that new Congress which would mean its own 
ruin — and perhaps the ruin of the revolutionary order it had 
built. At this meeting, however, only members of the Tsay- 
ee-kah could vote. . • • 

It was after midnight when Gotz took the chair and Dan 


rose to speak, in a tense silence, which seemed to me almost 

"The hours in which we live appear in the most tragic 
colours," he said. "The enemy is at the gates of Petrograd, 
the forces of the democracy are trying to organise to resist 
him, and yet we await bloodshed in the streets of the capital, 
and famine threatens to destroy, not only our homogeneous 
Government, but the Revolution itself. . . . 

"The masses are sick and exhausted. They have no in- 
V terest in the Revolution. If the Bolsheviki start anything, 
that will be the end of the Revolution . . ." (Cries, "That's a 
lie!)'' "The counter-revolutionists are waiting with the Bol- 
sheviki to begin riots and massacres. ... If there is any 
vystuplemde, there will be no Constituent Assembly. • • •" 
(Cries, "Lie! Shame!") 

^^It is inadmissible that in the zone of military operations 
the Petrograd garrison shall not submit to the orders of the 
Staff. . • . You must obey the orders of the Staff and of tha 
Tsay-ee-kah elected by you. All Power to the Soviets — tha" 
means death! Robbers and thieves are waiting for the ma 
-^ ment to loot and bum. • • • When you have such slogans pia 
before you, ^Enter the houses, take away the shoes and cloths 
from the bourgeoisie — '" (Tumult. Cries, "No such sic 
gan! A lie! A lie!") "Well, it may start diflferently, bu 
it will end that way ! 

"The Tsay-ee-kah has full power to act, and must tfi 
obeyed. . . . We are not afraid of bayonets. . . . The Tsay- 
ee-kah will defend the Revolution with its body. . . ." (Cries, 
"It was a dead body long ago!") 

Immense continued uproar, in which his voice could be 
heard screaming, as he pounded the desk, "Those who are 
urging this are committing a crime!" 

Voice: "You committed a crime long ago, when you cap- 
tured the power and turned it over to the bourgeoisie !" 


Gotz, ringing the chairman's bell: ^^Silence^ or I'll have 
put out!'* 

Voice: "Try it!" (Cheers and whistling.) 
"Now concerning our policy about peace.'* (Laughter.) 
**VTiifortunately Russia can no longer support the continua- 
tion of the war. There is going to be peace, but not perma- 
nent peace — not a democratic peace. . . . To-day, at the 
Council of the Republic, in order to avoid bloodshed, we passed 
aix order of the day demanding the surrender of the land to the 
L'Ciiid Committees and immediate peace negotiations. . • •'* 
(Laughter, and cries, "Too late!") 

Then for the Bolsheviki, Trotzky mounted the tribune, 
Dome on a wave of roaring applause that burst into cheers 
Ai^ci a rising house, thunderous. His thin, pointed face was 
positively Mephistophelian in its expression of malicious irony. 
**Dan's tactics prove that the masses — the great, dull, in- 
different masses — are absolutely with him!" (Titantic mirth.) 
tte turned toward the chairman, dramatically. "When we 
^Poke of giving the land to the peasants, you were against it. 
^e told the peasants, *If they don't give it to you, take it 
yourselves!' and the peasants followed our advice. And now 
you advocate what we did six months ago. . . . 

"I don't think Kerensky's order to suspend the death pen- 
*lty in the army was dictated by his ideals. I think Keren- 
8^y was persuaded by the Petrograd garrison, which refused 
^o obey him. . • . 

**To-day Dan is accused of having made a speech in the 
Council of the Republic which proves him to be a secret Bol- 
shevik. . . . The time may come when Dan will say that the 
flower of the Revolution participated in the rising of July 16th 
and 18th. . . ^ In Dan's resolution to-day at the Council of 
the Republic there was no mention of enforcing discipline in 
the army-, although that is urged in the propaganda of his 
party. • • • 


^^No. The history of the last seven months shows that 
the masses have left the Mensheviki. The Mensheviki and 
the Socialist Revolutionaries conquered the Cadets, and then 
when they got the power, they gave it to the Cadets. . . • 

^^Dan tells you that you have no right to make an insurrec- 
tion. Insurrection is the right of all revolutionists! When 
the down-trodden masses revolt, it is their right. • • •" 

Then the long-faced, crud-tongued Lieber, greeted with, 
groans and laughter. 

^^Engels and Marx said that the proletariat had no right 
to take power until it was ready for it. In a bourgeois revo- 
lution like this • • • the seizure of power by the masses means 
the tragic end of the Revolution. . . . Trotzky, as a Social 
Democratic theorist, is himself opposed to what he is nov 
advocating. . . ." (Cries, "Enough! Down with him!?*) 

Martov, constantly interrupted : "The Intemationalisis are 
not opposed to the transmission of power to the democracy, 
but they disapprove of the methods of the Bolsheviki. This 
is not the moment to seize the pow^r. . . ." 

Again Dan took the floor, violently protesting against the 
action of the Military Revolutionary Committee, which had 
sent a Commissar to seize the office of Izviestia and censor the 
paper. The wildest uproar followed. Martov tried to speak, 
but could not be heard. Delegates of the Army and the Baltic 
Fleet stood up all over the hall, shouting that the Soviet was 
their Government. . • • 

Amid the wildest confusion Ehrlich offered a resolution, ap- 
pealing to the workers and soldiers to remain calm and not to 
respond to provocations to demonstrate, recognising the neces- 
sity of immediately creating a Committee of Public Safety, and 
asking the Provisional Government at once to pass decrees 
transferring the land to the peasants and beginning peace 
negotiations. • . . 

Then up leaped Volodarsky, shouting harshly fhat the 

Ull. ImpensbiJ" "mS ^'"'■■■'b'iI'" n'r„!;rhig"h" "ik i^ "j'l^-i'^'f^th^K™'' 


Tiay^e-kahf on the eve of the Congress, had no right 
to assume the functions of the Congress. The Tiay-ee-hdh 
was practically dead, he said, and the resolution was simply a 
trick to bolster up its waning power. . . . 

"As for us, Bolsheviki, we will not vote on this resolution !" 
Whereupon all the Bolsheviki left the hall and the resolution 
was passed. • . • 

Toward four in the morning I met Zorin in the outer hall, 
a rifle slung from his shoulder. 

"We're moving!"'' said he, calmly but with satisfaction. 
**We pinched the Assistant Minister of Justice and the Min- 
ister of Religions. They're down cellar now. One regiment 
is on the diarch to capture the Telephone Exchange, another 
the Telegraph Agency, another the State Bank. The Red 
Guard is out. . . .'* 

On the steps of Smolny, in the chill dark, we first saw the 
Red Guard — a huddled group of boys in workmen's clothes, 
carrying guns with bayonets, talking nervously together. 

Far over the still roofs westward came the sound of scat- 
tered rifle fire, where the ywnkers were trying to open the 
bridges over the Neva, to prevent the factory workers and 
soldiers of the Viborg quarter from joining the Soviet forces 
in the centre of the city ; and the Cronstadt sailors were closing 
them again. . . . 

Behind us great Smolny, bright with lights, hummed like 
a gigantic hive. • . • 


' ' ■ ■ 


Wednesday, November 7th, I rose very late. The noon 

cannon boomed from Peter-Paul as I went down the Nevsky. 

It was a raw, chill day. In front of the State Bank some 

. soldiers with fixed bayonets were standing at the closed gates. 

**What side do you belong to?" I asked. "The Govern- 

"No more Grovemment," one answered with a grin, **Slava 
Bogul Glory to God!" That was all I could get out of 
him. • • • 

The street-cars were running on the Nevsky, men, women 
and small boys hanging on every projection. Shops were 
open, and there seemed even less uneasiness among the street 
crowds than there had been the day before. A whole crop of 
new appeals against insurrection had blossomed out on the 
walls during the night — ^to the peasants, to the soldiers at the 
front, to the workmen of Petrograd. One read : 


The Municipal Duma informs the citizens that in the extraor- 
dinary meeting of November 6th the Duma formed a Committee 
of Public Safety^ composed of members of the Central and Ward 
Dumas^ and representatives of the following revolutionary demo- 
cratic organizations: The Tsay-ee-hah, the All-Russian Executive 
Committee of Peasant Deputies^ the Army organisations^ the 
Tsentroflot, the Petrograd Soviet of Workers' and Soldiers* Depu- 
ties ( !)^ the Council of Trade Unions^ and others. 



Members of the Committee of Public Safety will be on duty 
in the building of the Municipal Duma. Telephones No. 15-40, 
223-77, 138-36. 

November 7th, 1917. 

Though I didn't realize it then, this was the Duma's ^^ 
declaration of war against the Bolsheviki. 

I bought a copy of Rabotchi Put^ the only newspaper 
which seemed on sale, and a little later paid a soldier fifty 
kopeks for a second-hand copy of Dien. The Bolshevik paper, 
printed on large-sized sheets in the conquered office of the 
Rvsshaya Volia, had huge headlines: "All Powek — ^To the 
Soviets of Workees, Soldiees and Peasants! Peace! 
Bread! Land!" The leading article was signed "Zinoviev,*' 
— Lenin's companion in hiding. It began: 

Every soldier, every worker, every real Socialist, every honest 
democrat realises that there are only two alternatives to the present 

Either — ^the power will remain in the hands of the bourgeois- 
landlord crew, and this will mean every kind of repression for 
the workers, soldiers and peasants, continuation of the war, in- 
evitable hunger and death. ... 

Or — the power will be transferred to the hands of the revolu- 
tionary workers, soldiers and peasants; and in that case it will 
mean a complete abolition of landlord tyranny, immediate check 
of the capitalists, immediate proposal of a just peace. Then the 
land is assured to the peasants, then control of industry is assured 
to the workers, then bread is assured to the hungry, then the end 
of this nonsensical war ! • . • 

Dien contained fragmentary news of the agitated night. 
Bolsheviki capture of the Telephone Exchange, the Baltic 
station, the Telegraph Agency; the Peterhof yunkera unable 
to reach Petrograd; the Cossacks undecided; arrest of some 
of the Ministers; shooting of Chief of the City Militia Meyer; 


arrests, counter-arrests, skirmishes between clashing patrols 
of soldiers, ywnkers and Red Guards.^ 

On the comer of the Morskaya I ran into Captain Grom* 
berg, Menshevik ohoronetz^ secretary of the Military Section 
of his party. When I asked him if the insurrection had really 
happened he shrugged his shoulders in a tired manner and 
replied, **Tchort znayet! The devil knows! Well, perhaps 
the Bolsheviki can seize the power, but they won't be able to 
hold it more than three days. They haven't the men to run 
a government. Perhaps it's a good thing to let them try — 
that will finish them. • . ." 

The Military Hotel at the comer of St. Isaac's Square was 
picketed by armed sailors. In the lobby were many of the 
smart young officers, walking up and down or muttering 
together; the sailors ilouldn't let them leave. . . . 

Suddenly came the sharp crack of a rifle outside, followed 
by a scattered burst of firing. I ran out. Something unusual 
was going on around the Marinsky Palace, where the Council 
of the Russian Republic met. Diagonally across the wide 
square was drawn a line of soldiers, rifles ready, staring at the 
hotel roof. 

"Provocatzia! Shot at us!" snapped one, while another 
went running toward the door. 

At the western comer of the Palace lay a big armoured 
car with a red flag flying from it, newly lettered in red paint: 
"S. R. S. D." {Soviet RahotchXkh Soldatskikh Deputatov) ; 
all the guns trained toward St. Isaac's. A barricade bad been 
heaped up across the mouth of Novaya Ulitza — boxes, barrels, 
an old bed-spring, a wagon. A pile of lumber barred the end 
of the Moika quay. Short logs from a neighbouring wood* 
pile were being built up along the front of the building to 
form breastworks. • . . 

^References in this cliapter refer to tlie Appendix to Chapter IV. See 
page 334. 


*^Is there going to be any fighting?" I asked. 

**Soon, soon," answered a soldier, nervously. **Gk> away, 
comrade, youTl get hurt. They will come from that direc- 
tion," pointing toward the Admiralty. 

^*Who will?" 

**That I couldn't tell you, brother," he answered, and spat. 

Before the door of the Palace was a crowd of soldiers and 
sailors. A sailor was telling of the end of the Council of 
the Russian Republic. **We walked in there,!' he said, "and 
filled all the doors with comrades. I went up to the counter- 
revolutionist Komilovitz who sat in the president's chair. 
*No more Council,' I says. *Run along home now !' " 

There was laughter. By waving assorted papers I man- 
aged to get around to the door of the press gallery. There 
an enormous smiling sailor stopped me, and when I showed my 
pass, just said, ^^If you were Saint Michael himself, comrade, 
you couldn't pass here!" Through the glass of the door I 
made out the distorted face and gesticulating arms of a French 
correspondent, locked in. • • • 

Around in front stood a little, grey-moustached man in 
the uniform of a general, the centre of a knot of soldiers. He 
was very red in the face. 

"I am General Alexeyev," he cried. "As your superior 
officer and as a member of the Council of the Republic I de- 
mand to be allowed to pass !" The guard scratched his head, 
looking uneasily out of the comer of his eye ; he beckoned to an 
approaching officer, who grew very agitated when he saw who 
it was and saluted before he realised what he was doing. 

**Vashe VuisokoprevaskhoditeUtvo — ^your High Excellen- 
cy — " he stammered, in the manner of the old regime, "Access 
to the Palace is strictly forbidden — ^I have no right ^" 

An automobile came by, and I saw Gotz sitting inside, 
laughing apparently with great amusement. A few minutes 
later another, with armed soldiers on the front seat, full of 


arrested members of the Provisional Govermnent. Peters, 
Lettish member of the Military Revolutionary Committee, 
came hurrying across the Square. 

*^I thought you bagged all those gentlemen last night," said 
I, pointing to them. 

^*0h," he answered, with the expression of a disappointed 
small boy. ^^The damn fools let most of them go again before 
we made up our minds. . . ." 

Down the Voskressensky Prospect a great mass of sailors 
were drawn up, and behind them came marching soldiers, as 
far as the eye could reach. 

We went toward the Winter Palace by way of the Admiral- 
teisky. All the entrances to the Palace Square were closed 
by sentries, and a cordon of troops stretched clear across the 
western end, besieged by an uneasy throng of citizens. Ex- 
cept for far-away soldiers who seemed to be carrying wood 
out of the Palace courtyard and piling it in front of the 
main gateway, everything was quiet. 

We couldn't make out whether the sentries were pro-Gov- 
ernment or pro-Soviet. Our papers from Smolny had no ef- 
fect, however, so we approached another part of the line with 
an important air and showed our American passports, saying 
"Official business!" and shouldered through. At the door of 
the Palace the same old shveitzari^ in their brass-buttoned 
blue uniforms with the red-and-gold collars, politely took our 
coats and hats, and we went up-stairs. In the dark, gloomy 
corridor, stripped of its tapestries, a few old attendants were 
lounging about, and in front of Kerensky's door a young officer 
paced up and down, gnawing his moustache. We asked if we 
could interview the Minister-president. He bowed and clicked 
his heels. 

"No, I am sorry,'' he replied in French. "Alexander 
Feodorvitch is extremely occupied just now. . . ." He looked 
at us for a moment. "In fact, he is not here. • • ." 


**Where is he?" 

"He has gone to the Front.^ And do you know, there 
wasn't enough gasoline for his automobile. We had to send 
to the English Hospital and borrow some." 

"Are the Ministers here?" 

**They are meeting in some room — ^I don't know where.' 

"Are the Bolsheviki coming?" 

"Of course. Certainly, they are coming. I expect a 
telephone call every minute to say that they are coming. But 
we are ready. We have ytmkert in the front of the Palace. 
Through that door there." 

**Can we go in there?" 

"No. Certainly not. It is not permitted." Abruptly 
he shook hands all around and walked away. We turned to 
the forbidden door, set in a temporary partition dividing the 
hall and locked on the outside. On the other side were voices, 
and somebody laughing. Except for that the vast spaces of 
the old Palace were silent as the grave. An old shveitzar ran 
up. "No, barin^ you must not go in there." 

"Why is the door locked?" 

"To keep the soldiers in," he answered. After a few 
minutes he said something about having a glass of tea and 
went back up the hall. We imlocked the door. 

^ Just inside a couple of soldiers stood on guard, but they 
said nothing. At the end of the corridor was a large, ornate 
room with gilded comices and enormous crystal lustres, and 
beyond it several smaller ones, wainscoted with dark wood. 
On both sides of the parquetted floor lay rows of dirty mat- 
tresses and blankets, upon which occasional soldiers were 
stretched out; everywhere was a litter of cigarette-butts, bits 
of bread, cloth, and empty bottles with expensive French labels. 
More and more soldiers, with the red shoulder-straps of the 
^t^^^r-schools, moved about in a stale atmosphere of tobacco- 
smoke and unwashed humanity. One had a bottle of white 


Burgundy, evidently filched from the cellars of the Palace. 
They looked at us with astonishment as we marched past, 
through room after room, until at last we came out into a 
series of great state-salons, fronting their long and dirty win- 
dows on the Square. The walls were covered with huge can- 
ivases in massive gilt frames — ^historical battle-scenes. • « • 
"12 October 1812" and "6 November 1812'' and "16/28 August 
181S.'' • . • One had a gash across the upper right hand 

The place was all a huge barrack, and evidently had been 
for weeks, from the look of the floor and walls. Ma^ 
chine guns were mounted on window-sills, rifles stacked between 
the mattresses. 

As we were looking at the pictures an alcoholic breath 
assailed me from the region of my left ear, and a voice said 
in thick but fluent French, "I see, by the way you admire the 
paintings, that you are foreigners." He was a short, puffy 
man with a baldish head as he removed his cap. 

"Americans? Enchanted. I am Stabs-Capitan Vladimir 
Artzibashev, absolutely at your service." It did not seem to 
occur to him that there was anything unusual in four strangers, 
one a woman, wandering through th^ defences of an army 
awaiting attack. He began to complain of the state of Russia. 

"Not only these Bolsheviki," he said, "but the fine traditions 
of the Russian army are broken down. Look around you. 
These are all students in the officers' training schools. But 
are they gentlemen? Kerensky opened the officers' schools to 
the ranks, to any soldier who could pass an examination. 
Naturally there are many, many who are contaminated by the 
Revolution. ..." 

Without consequence he changed the subject. **I am very 
anxious to go away from Russia. I have made up my mind 
to join the American army. Will you please go to your 
Consul and make arrangements? I will give you my address.'' 


In spite of our protestations he wrote it on a piece of paper, 
and seemed to feel better at once. I have it still — **Oranien' 
hawmskaya Shkola Praporshtchikov Snd^ Staraya Peterhof** 

**We had a review this morning early,*' he went on, as he 
guided us throu^ the rooms and eiq>lained everything. ^^The 
Women's Battalion decided to remain loyal to the Govern- 

**Are the women soldiers in the Palace?" 

"Yes, they are in the back rooms, where they won't be hurt 
if any trouble comes." He sighed. "It is a great responsi- 
bility," said he. 

For a while we stood at the window, looking down on the 
Square before the Palace, where three companies of long-coated 
ywnkers were drawn up under arms, being harangued by a 
tall, energetic-looking officer I recognised as Stankievitch, 
chief Military Commissar of the Provisional Government. 
After a few minutes two of the companies shouldered arms with 
a clash, barked three sharp shouts, and went swinging off 
across the Square, disappearing through the Red Arch into 
the quiet city. 

"They are going to capture the Telephone Exchange," 
said some one. Three cadets stood by us, and we fell into 
conversation. They said they had entered the schools from 
the ranks, and gave their names — ^Robert Olev, Alexei Vasi- 
lienko and Emi Sachs, an Esthonian. But now they didn't 
want to be officers any more, because officers were very un- 
popular. They didn't seem to know what to do, as a matter 
of fact, and it was plain that they were not happy. 

But soon they began to boast. ^^If the Bolsheviki come 
we shall show them how to iSght. They do not dare to fight, 
they are cowards. But if we should be overpowered, well, 
every man keeps one bullet for himself. . . ." 

At this point there was a burst of rifle-fire not far off. 
Out on the Square all the people began to run, falling flat on 


their faces, and the izvoshtchiki^ standing on the comers, gal-^ 
loped in every direction. Inside all was uproar, soldiers run- 
ning here and there, grabbing up guns, rifle-belts and shouting, 
"Here they come! Here they come!" • . . But in a few min- 
utes it quieted down again. The izvoshtchiki came back, the 
people lying down stood up. Through the Red Arch appeared 
the ytmkerSf marching a little out of step, one of them sup- 
ported by two comrades. 

It was getting late when we left the Palace. The sentries 
in the Square had all disappeared. The great semi-circle of 
Government buildings seemed deserted. We went into the 
Hotel France for dinner, and right in the middle of soup 
the waiter, very pale in the fcuje, came up and insisted that we 
move to the main dining-room at the back of the house, because 
they were going to put out the lights in the cafe. **There will 
be much shooting," he said. 

When we came out on the Morskaya again it was quite 
dark, except for one flickering street-light on the comer of 
the Nevsky. Under this stood a big armored automobile, 
with racing engine and oil-smoke pouring out of it. A small 
boy had climbed up the side of the thing and was looking down 
the barrel of a machine gun. Soldiers and sailors stood 
around, evidently waiting for something. We walked back up 
to the Red Arch, where a knot of soldiers was gathered star- 
ing at the brightly-lighted Winter Palace and talking in loud 

**No, comrades," one was saying. "How can we shoot at 
them? The Women's Battalion is in there — they will say 
we have fired on Russian women." 

As we reached the Nevsky again another armoured car 
came around the comer, and a man poked his head out of the 
\ "Come on !" he yelled. "Let's go on through and attack !** 

The driver of the other car came over, and shouted so 


as to be heard above the roaring engine, ^^he Committee 
says to wait. They have got artillery behind the wood-piles 
in there. . . ." 

Here the street-cars had stopped running, few people 
passed, and there were no lights; but a few blocks away we 
could see the trams, the crowds, the lighted shop-windows and 
the electric signs of the moving-picture shows — ^life going on 
as usual. We had tickets to the Ballet at the Marinsky The- 
atre — all the theatres were open — ^but it was too exciting out 
of doors. . • • 

In the darkness we stumbled over lumber-piles ba^cading 
the Police Bridge, and before the Stroganov Palace made out 
some soldiers wheeling into position a three-inch field-gun. 
Men in various uniforms were coming and going in an aimless 
way, and doing a great deal of talking. . . . 

Up the Nevsky the whole city seemed to be out promenad- 
ing. On every comer immense crowds were massed around a 
core of hot discussion. Pickets of a dozen soldiers with fixed 
bayonets lounged at the street-crossings, red-faced old men in 
rich fur coats shook their fists at them, smartly-dressed women 
screamed epithets ; the soldiers argued feebly, with embarrassed 
grins. . . . Armoured cars went up and down the street, named 
after the first Tsars — Oleg, Rurik, Svietoslav — and daubed 
with huge red letters, "R. S. D. R. P." {Rossiskaya Sotsial- 
Demokrateetcheskatfa Rahotchaya Partid)*, At the Mik- 
hailovsky a man appeared with an armful of newspapers, and 
was immediately stormed by frantic people, ofi^ering a rouble, 
five roubles, ten roubles, tearing at each other like animals. 
It was RabotcM i Soldaty announcing the victory of the Prole- 
tarian Revolution, the liberation of the Bolsheviki still in 
prison, calling upon the Army front and rear for support . . . 
a feverish little sheet of four pages, running to enormous type, 
containing no news. . . • 

* (Russian Social Democratic Labor Party). 


On the comer of the Sadovaya about two thousand citizens 
had gathered, staring up at the roof of a tall building, wh^re 
a tiny red spark glowed and waned. 

^^See ?* said a tall peasant, pointing to it. ^It is a proYO- 
cator. Presently he will fire on the people. • • •'' Apparently 
no one thought of going to investigate. 

The massive facade of Smolny blazed with lights as we drove 
up, and from every street converged upon it streams of hurry- 
ing shapes dim in the gloom. Automobiles and motorcycles 
came and went; an enormous elephant-coloured armoured au- 
tomobile, with two red flags flying from the turret, Imnbered 
out with screaming siren. It was cold, and at the outer gate 
the Red Guards had built themselves a bon-fire. At the inner 
gate, too, there was a blaze, by the light of which the sentries 
slowly spelled out our passes and looked us up and down. The 
canvas covers had been taken off the four rapid-fire guns on 
each side of the doorway, and the ammunition-belts hung snake- 
like from their breeches. A dun herd of armoured cars stood 
under the trees in the court-yard, engines going. The long, 
bare, dimly-illuminated halls roared with the thunder of feet, 
calling, shouting. . . . There was an atmosphere of reckless- 
ness. A crowd came pouring down the staircase, workers in 
black blouses and round black fur hats, many of them with 
guns slung over their shoulders, soldiers in rough dirt-coloured 
coats and grey fur shapki pinched flat, a leader or so — ^Lunat- 
charsky, Kameniev — hurrying .along in the centre of a group 
all talking at once, with harassed anxious faces, and bulging 
portfolios under their arms. The extraordinary meeting of 
the Petrograd Soviet was over. I stopped Kameniev — a quick- 
moving little man, with a wide, vivacious face set close to his 
shoulders. Without preface he read in rapid French a copy 
of the resolution just passed : 


The Petrograd Soviet of Workers' and Soldiers' Deputies^ salut- 
ing the yictorioos Revolution of the Petrograd proletariat and gar- 
rison^ particularly emphasises the unity^ organisation^ discipline^ 
and complete cooperation shown hy the masses in this rising ; rarely 
has less hlood been spilled^ and rarely has an insurrection suc- 
ceeded so welL 

The Soviet expresses its firm conviction that the Workers' and 
Peasants' Government which^ as the government of the Soviets^ will 
be created by the Revolution^ and which will assure the industrial 
proletariat of the support of the entire mass of poor peasants^ will 
march firmly toward Socialism^ the only means by which the coun- 
try can be spared the miseries and unheard-of horrors of war. 

The new Workers' and Peasants' Government will propose imme- 
diately a just and democratic peace to all the belligerent countries. 

It will suppress immediately the great landed property^ and 
transfer the land to the peasants. It will establish workmen's con- 
trol over production and distribution of manufactured products^ and 
will set up a general control over the banks^ which it will trans- 
form into a state monopoly. 

The Petrograd Soviet of Workers' and Soldiers' Deputies calls 
upon the workers and the peasants of Russia to support with 
all their energy and all their devotion the Proletarian Revolution. 
The Soviet expresses its conviction that the city workers^ allies of 
the poor peasants^ will assure complete revolutionary order^ indis- 
pensable to the victory of Socialism. The Soviet is convinced 
that the proletariat of the countries of Western Europe will aid 
us in conducting the cause of Socialism to a real and lasting 

**You consider it won then?" 

He lifted his shoulders. "There Is much to do. Horribly 
much. It is just beginning. . . .'* 

On the landing I met Riazanov, vice-president of the Trade 
Unions, looking black and biting his grey beard. "It's in- 
sane! Insane!" he shouted. "The European working-class 
won't move ! All Russia — " He waved his hand distractedly 


and ran off. Riazanov and Kameniev had both opposed the 
insurrection, and felt the lash of Lenin's terrible tongue. . . . 

It had been a momentous session. In the name of the Mili- 
tary Revolutionary Committee Trotzky had declared that the 
Provisional Government no longer existed. 

**The characteristic of bourgeois governments," he said, 
"is to deceive the people. We, the Soviets of Workers', Sol- 
diers' and Peasants' Deputies, are going to try an experiment 
unique in history; we are going to found a power which will 
have no other aim but to satisfy the needs of the soldiers, work- 
ers, and peasants." 

• Lenin had appeared, welcomed with a mighty ovation, pro- 
phesying world-wide Social Revolution. . . . And Zinoviev, 
crying, "This day we have paid our debt to the international 
proletariat, and struck a terrible blow at the war, a terrible 
body-blow at all the imperialists and particularly at Wilhdm 
the Executioner. . . ." 

Then Trotzky, that telegrams had been sent to the front 
announcing the victorious insurrection, but no reply had come. 
Troops were said to be marching against Petrograd — a dele- 
gation must be sent to tell them the truth. 

Cries, "You are anticipating the will of the AU-Russian 
Congress of Soviets !" 

Trotzky, coldly, "The will of the All-Russian Congress of 
Soviets has been anticipated by the rising of the Petrograd 
workers and soldiers!" 

So we came into the great meeting-haU, pushing through 
the clamorous mob at the door. In the rows of seats, under 
the white chandeliers, packed immovably in the aisles and on 
the sides, perched on every window-siU, and even the edge of 
the platform, the representatives of the workers and soldiers 
of all Russia waited in anxious silence or wild exultation the 
ringing of the chairman's bell. There was no heat in the hall 
but the stijSing heat of unwashed human bodies. A foul Uue 


cloud of cigarette smoke rose from the mass and hung in the 
thick air. Occasionally some one in authority mounted the 
tribune and asked the comrades not to smoke ; then everybody, 
smokers and all, took up the cry ^^Don't smoke, comrades!'' 
and went on smoking. Petrovsky, Anarchist delegate from the 
Obukhov factory, made a seat for me beside him. Unshaven 
and filthy, he was reeling from three nights' sleepless work on 
the Military Revolutionary Committee. 

On the platform sat the leaders of the old Tsatf-ee-kah — for 
the last time dominating the turbulent Soviets, which they 
had ruled from the first days, and which were now risen against 
them. It was the end of the first period of the Russian revolu- 
tion, which these men had attempted to guide in careful ways. 
. . . The three greatest of them were not there: Kerensky, 
flying to the front through country towns all doubtfully heav- 
ing up; Tcheidze, the old eagle, who had contemptuously re- 
tired to his own Georgian mountains, there to sicken with con- 
sumption; and the high-souled Tseretelli, also mortally 
stricken, who, nevertheless, would return and pour out his beau- 
tiful eloquence for a lost cause. Gotz sat there, Dan, Lieber, 
Bogdanov, Broido, Fillipovsky, — ^white-faced, hollow-eyed and 
indignant. Below them the second siezd of the All-Russian 
Soviets boiled and swirled, and over their heads the Military 
Revolutionary Committee functioned white-hot, holding in its 
hands the threads of insurrection and striking with a long arm. 
. . . It was 10.40 P. M. 

Dan, a mild-faced, baldish figure in a shapeless military 
surgeon's uniform, was ringing the bell. Silence fell sharply, 
intense, broken by the scuffling and disputing of the people 
at the door. . . . 

* We have the power in our hands," he began sadly, stopped 
far a moment, and then went on in a low voice. "Comrades ! 
The Congress of Soviets is meeting in such unusual circum- 
stances and in such an extraordinary moment that you will 



understand why the Tsay^ee-kah considers it unnecessary to ad- 
dress you with a political speech. This will become much 
clearer to you if you will recollect that I am a member of the 
Tsay-ee-kahy and that at this very moment our party com- 
rades are in the Winter Palace under bombardment, sacrific- 
ing themselves to execute the duty put on them by the Tsay-ee- 
kah.'* (Confused uproar.) 

"I declare the first session of the Second Congress of So- 
viets of Workers' and Soldiers' Deputies open !" 

The election of the presidium took place amid stir and 
moving about. Avanessov announced that by agreement of 
the Bolsheviki, Left Socialist Revolutionaries and Mensheviki 
Internationalists, it was decided to base the presidium upon 
proportionality. Several Mensheviki leaped to their feet pro- 
testing. A bearded soldier shouted at them, ^^Remember what 
you did to us Bolsheviki when tve were the minority !" Result 
— 14 Bolsheviki, 7 Socialist Revolutionaries, 3 Mensheviki and 
1 Internationalist (Gorky's group). Hendelmann, for the 
right and centre Socialist Revolutionaries, said that they re- 
fused to take part in the presidium; the same from Kintchuk, 
for the Mensheviki ; and from the Mensheviki Internationalists, 
that until the verification of certain circumstances, they too 
could not enter the presidium. Scattering applause and hoots. 
One voice, "Renegades, you call yourselves Socialists !" A rep- 
resentative of the Ukrainean delegates demanded, and received, 
a place. Then the old Tsay-ee-kdh stepped down, and in their 
places appeared Trotzky, Kameniev, Lunatcharsky, Madame 
KoUentai, Nogin. . . . The hall rose, thundering. How far 
they had soared, these Bolsheviki, from a despised and hunted 
sect less than four months ago, to this supreme place, the helm 
of great Russia in full tide of insurrection! 

The order of the day, said Kameniev, was first. Organi- 
sation of Power ; second. War and Peace ; and third, the Con- 
stituent Assembly. Lozovsky, rising, announced that upon 


agreement of the bureau of all factions, it was proposed to hear 
and discuss the report of the Petrograd Soviet, then to give 
the floor to members of .the Tsay-ee-kah and the different par- 
ties, and finally to pass to the order of the day. 

But suddenly a new sound made itself heard, deeper than 
the tumult of the crowd, persistent, disquieting, — the dull 
shock of guns. People looked anxiously toward the clouded win- 
dows, and a sort of fever came over them. Martov, demanding 
the floor, croaked hoarsely, "The civil war is beginning, com- 
rades ! The first question must be a peaceful settlement of the 
crisis. On principle and from a political standpoint we must 
urgently discuss a means of averting civil war. Our brothers 
are being shot down in the streets ! At this moment, when be- 
fore the opening of the Congress of Soviets the question of 
Power is being settled by means of a military plot organised 
by one of the revolutionary parties — " for a moment he could 
not make himself heard above the noise, "All of the revolution- 
ary parties must face the fact ! The first vopros (question) be- 
fore the Congress is the question of Power, and this question is 
already being settled by force of arms in the streets ! . . . We 
must create a power which will be recognised by the whole de- 
mocracy. If the Congress wishes to be the voice of the revolu- 
tionary democracy it must not sit with folded hands before the 
developing civil war, the result of which may be a dangerous 
outburst of counter-revolution. . . . The possibility of a peace- 
ful outcome lies in the formation of a united democratic au- 
thority. . . . We must elect a delegation to negotiate with the 
other Socialist parties and organisations. . . ." 

Always the methodical mufiled boom of cannon through 
the windows, and the delegates, screaming at each other. • • . 
So, with the crash of artillery, in the dark, with hatred, and 
fear, and reckless daring, new Russia was being bom. 

The Left Socialist Revolutionaries and the United Social 
Democrats supported Martov's proposition. It was accepted. 


A soldier aonoun^d that the AU-Russian Peasants' Soviets had 
refused to send delegates to the Congress ; he proposed that a 
committee be sent with a formal invitation. ^^Some delegates 
are present," he said. "I move that they be given votes.** 

Eharash, wearing the epaulets of a captain, passionately 
demanded the floor. "The political hypocrites who control this 
Congress," he shouted, *'told us we were to settle the question 
of Power — and it is being settled behind our backs, before the 
Congress opens! BloVs are being struck against the Winter 
Palace, and it is by such blows that the nails are being driven 
into the cofBn of the political party which has risked such an 
adventure !" Uproar. Followed him Gharra : **While we are 
here discussing propositions of peace, there is a battle on in 
the streets. • • . The Socialist Revolutionaries and the Men- 
sheviki refuse to be involved in what is happening, and call 
upon all public forces to resist the attempt to capture the 
power. . . ." Kutchin, delegate of the 12th Army and rep- 
resentative of the Troudoviki: *'I was sent here only for in- 
formation, and I am returning at once to the Front, where all 
the Army Committees consider that the taking of power by 
the Soviets, only three weeks before the Constituent Assembly, 
is a stab in the back of the Army and a crime against the peo- 
ple— r Shouts of "Lie ! You lie !" . . . When he could be heard 
again, ^Tict's make an end of this adventure in Petrograd! I 
call upon all delegates to leave this hall in order to save the 
country and the Revolution!" As he went down the aisle in 
the midst of a deafening noise, people surged in upon him, 
threatening. . . . Then Khintchuk, an oiBcer with a long 
brown goatee, speaking suavely and persuasively : "I speak for 
the delegates from the Front. The Army is imperfectly repre- 
sented in this Congress, and furthermore, the Army does not 
consider the Congress of Soviets necessary at this time, only 
three weeks before the opening of the Constituent — " shouts 


a^d stamping, always growing more violent. ^^The Army 
does not consider that the Congress of Soviets has the neces- 
sary authority — ^* Soldiers began to stand up all over the 

"Who are you speaking for? What do you represent?'* 
they cried. 

"The Central Executive Committee of the Soviet of the 
Fifth Army, the Second F — regiment, the First N — Regi- 
ment, the Third S — Rifles. . . ." 

**When were you elected? You represent the officers, not 
the soldiers! What do the soldiers say about it?" Jeers and 

*We, the Front group, disclaim all responsibility for what 
has happened and is happening, and we consider it necessary 
to mobilise all self-conscious revolutionary forces for the salva- 
tion of the Revolution! The Front group will leave the Con- 
gress. . . . The place to fight is out on the streets !" 

Immense bawling outcry. "You speak for the Staff — ^not 
for the Army!" 

"I appeal to all reasonable soldiers to leave this Congress !" 

"Komilovitz! Counter-revolutionist! Provocator!" were 
hurled at him. 

On behalf of the Mensheviki, ESiintchuk then announced 
that the only possibility of a peaceful solution was to begin 
negotiations with the Provisional Government for the forma- 
tion of a new Cabinet, which would find support in all strata of 
society. He could not proceed for several minutes. Raising 
his voice to a shout he read the Menshevik declaration: 

"Because the Bolsheviki have made a military conspiracy 
with the aid of the Petrograd Soviet, without consulting the 
other factions and parties, we find it impossible to remain in the 
Congress, and therefore withdraw, inviting the other groups 
to follow us and to meet for discussion of the situation !'' 

"Deserter !'* At intervals in the almost continuous dis- 


turbance Hendelman, for the SociflJist Revolutionaries, could 
be heard protesting against the bombardment of the Winter 
Palace. . . . "We are opposed to this kind of anarchy. • . ." 

Scarcely had he stepped down than a young, lean-faced 
soldier, with flashing eyes, leaped tp the platform, and dra- 
matically lifted his hand : 

"Comrades !" he cried and there was a hush. "My famUia 
(name) is Peterson — I speak for the Second Lettish Rifles. You 
have heard the statements of two representatives of the Army 
committees ; these statements would have some value •/ their aw- 
thors had been representatives of the Army — " Wild ap- 
plause. **But they do not represent the soldiersT* Shaking 
his fist. "The Twelfth Army has been insisting for a long time 
upon the re-election of the Great Soviet and the Army Com- 
mittee, but just as your own Tsay-ee-kah, our Committee re- 
fused to call a meeting of the representatives of the masses 
until the end of September, so that the reactionaries could 
elect their own false delegates to this Congress. I tell you 
now, the Lettish soldiers have many times said, ^No more reso- 
lutions! No more talk! We want deeds — the Power must 
be in our hands !' Let these impostor delegates leave the Con- 
gress! The Army is not with them!" 

The hall rocked with cheering. In the first moments of 
the session, stunned by the rapidity of events, startled by 
the sound of cannon, the delegates had hesitated. For an 
hour hammer-blow after hammer-blow had fallen from that 
tribune, welding them together but beating them down. Did 
they stand then alone? Was Russia rising against them? 
Was it true that the Army was marching on Petrograd? Then 
this clear-eyed young soldier had spoken, and in a flash they 
knew it for the truth. . . . This was the voice of the soldiers — 
the stirring millions of uniformed workers and peasants were 
men like them, and their thoughts and feelings were the same. . . . 

More soldiers . . . Gzhelshakh ; for the Front delegates, an- 


nouncing that they had only decided to leave the Congress by 
a small majority, and that the Bolshevik members had not even 
taken part in the vote^ as they stood for division according to 
political parties, and not groups. ^^Hundreds of delegates 
from the Front," he said, "are being elected without the par- 
ticipation of the soldiers because the Army Committees are no 
longer the real representatives of the rank and file. • . ." 
Lukianov, crying that officers like Eliarash and Ehintchuk 
could not represent the Army in this congress, — ^but only the 
high command. "The real inhabitants of the trenches want 
with all their hearts the transfer of Power into the hands of 
the Soviets, and they expect very much from it!'* . . . The 
tide was turning. 

Then came Abramovitch, for the Btmd, the organ of the 
tTewish Social Democrats — his eyeai snapping behind thick 
glasses, trembling with rage. 

**What is taking place now in Petrograd is a monstrous 
calamity! The Bwnd group joins with the declaration of the 
Mensheviki and Socialist Revolutionaries and will leave the 
Congress!" He raised his voice and hand. "Our duty to 
the Russian proletariat doesn't permit us to r^ain here and 
be responsible for these crimes. Because the firing on the 
Winter Palace doesn't cease, the Municipal Duma to- 
other with the Mensheviki and Socialist Revolutionaries, and 
the Executive Committee of the Peasants' Soviet, has decided 
to perish with the Provisional Government, and we are going 
with them! Unarmed we will expose our breasts to the ma- 
chine guns of the Terrorists. • . . We invite all delegates to 

this Congress " The rest was lost in a storm of hoots, 

menaces and curses which rose to a hellish pitch as fifty 
delegates got up and pushed their way out. . . . 

Kameniev jangled the bell, shouting, "Keep your seats and 
we'll go on with our business!" And Trotzky, standing up 
with a pale, cruel face, letting out his rich voice in cool con- 


tempt, ^^AU these so-called Socialist compromisers, these 
frightened Menshevikl, Socialist Revolutionaries, Buatd — let 
them go! They are just so much refuse which will be swept 
into the garbage-heap of history !'* 

Riazanov, for the Bolsheviki, stated that at the request 
of the City Duma the Military Revolutionary Committee had 
sent a delegation to offer negotiations to the Winter Palace. 
"In this way we have done everything possible to avoid blood- 
shed. . . .'* 

We hurried from the place, stopping for a moment at 
the room where the Military Revolutionary Committee worked 
at furious speed, engulfing and spitting out panting couriers, 
despatching Commissars armed with power of life and death 
to all the comers of the city, amid the buzz of the telephono- 
graphs. The door opened, a blast of stale air and cigarette- 
smoke rushed out, we caught a glimpse of dishevelled men bend- 
ing over a map under the glare of a shaded electric-light. . . • 
Comrade Josephov-Dukhvinski, a smiling youth with a mop 
of pale yellow hair, mieide out passes for us. 

When we came Into the chill night, all the front of Smolny 
was one huge park of arriving and departing automobiles, 
above the sound of which could be heard the far-off slow 
beat of the cannon. A great motor-truck stood there, shak- 
ing to the roar of its engine. Men were tossing bundles into 
it, and others receiving them, with guns beside them. 

**Where are you going?" I shouted. 

"Down-town — all over — everywhere!" answered a little 
workman, grinning, with a large exultant gesture. 

We showed our passes. "Come along !" they invited. **But 

there'll probably be shooting " We climbed in ; the clutch 

slid l>ome with a raking jar, the great car jerked forward, 
we all toppled backward on top of those who were climbing 
in; past the huge fire by the gate, and then the fire by 
the outer gate, glowing red on the faces of the workmen with 


rifles who squatted around it, and went bumping at top speed 
down the Suvorovsky Prospect, swaying from side to side. . . . 
One man tore the wrapping from a bundle and began to hurl 
handfuls of papers into the air. We imitated him, plunging 
down through the dark street with a tail of white papers 
floating and eddying out behind. The late passerby stooped 
to pick them up; the patrols around bonfires on the comers 
ran out with uplifted arms to catch them. Sometimes armed 
men loomed up ahead, crying "Shtoir* and raising their guns, 
but our chauffeur only yelled something unintelligible and we 
hurtled on. • • • 

I picked up a copy of the paper, and under a fleeting 
street-light read: 


The Provisional Government is deposed. The State Power 
has passed into the hands of the organ of the Petrograd Soviet 
of Workers' and Soldiers' Deputies^ the Military Revolutionary 
Committee, which stands at the head of the Petrograd proletariat, 
and garrison. 

The cause for which the people were fighting: immediate pro-' 
posal of a democratic peace, aboUtion of landlord property-rights, 
over the land, labor control over production, creation of a Sovieti 
Government — that cause is securely achieved. 


Military Revolutionary Committee 

Petrograd Soviet of Workers* and Soldiers' Deputies, 

A slant-eyed, Mongolian-faced man who sat beside me, 
dressed in a goat-skin Caucasian cape, snapped, ^Tiook out! 
Here the provocators always shoot from the windows!" We 
turned into Znamensky Square, dark and almost deserted, 
careened around Trubetskoy's brutal statue and swung down 
the wide Nevsky, three men standing up with rifles ready, peer- 

m Boon ' PHMROjQonn i wmit ^ p Mttn ttKk (Mil 


Kii TpaMuiaHaMii Poccta. 

Bpomn upunosuno nBno MO. mifiijr 
cisoEEU iwnk nspoiiEi n pyn oprui uBrpO" 

ii:i:k \\:K 

1 p » 

fm BosBEOnOBOffliiiiiBBaro aODnny cnsniani 

BO raari Derpoi^idparo npusiapafa i raj 

fltE 31 nnwoe lipM 
Hiie wBKiKiTiPiiiGKan) ip, onrini wK^mH 



Mtpm HeTporpmjfOMOMrm Coadkr* 

to om^iM 1917 r. K> % not. 

Proclamation of the Fall of the Provisional Government, issued by the Military 
Revolutionary Committee on the night of November 7th (our calendar), which we 
helped to distribute from a motor-truck just after the surrender of the Winter PdUce. 



ing at the windows. Behind us the street was alive with 
people running and stooping. We could no longer hear the 
cannon, and the nearer we drew to the Winter Palace end 
of the city the quieter and more deserted were the streets. 
The City Duma was all brightly lighted. Beyond that we 
made out a dark mass of people, and a line of sailors, who 
yelled furiously at us to stop. The machine slowed down, 
and we climbed out. 

It was an astonishing scene. Just at the comer pf the 
Ekaterina Canal, under an arc-light, a cordon of armed sailors 
was drawn across the Nevsky, blocking the way to a crowd of 
people in column of fours. There were about three or four 
hundred of them, men in frock coats, well-dressed women, 
officers — all sorts and conditions of people. Among them 
we recognised many of the delegates from the Congress, leaders 
of the Mensheviki and Socialist Revolutionaries; Avksentiev, 
the lean, red-bearded president of the Peasants' Soviets, Saro- 
kin, Kerensky's spokesman, Khintchuk, Abramovitch; and at 
the head white-bearded old Schreider, Mayor of Petrograd, 
and Prokopovitch, Minister of Supplies in the Provisional 
Government, arrested that morning and released. I caught 
sight of Malkin, reporter for the Russian Daily News. 
'KJoing to die in the Winter Palace," he shouted cheerfully. 
The procession stood still, but from the front of it came loud 
argument. Schreider and Prokopovitch were bellowing at 
the big sailor who seemed in command. 

"We demand to passP' they cried. "See, these comrades 
come from the Congress of Soviets! Look at their tickets! 
We are going to the Winter Pfidace!" 

The sailor was plainly puzzled. He scratched his head 
with an enormous hand, frowning. ^^I have orders from the 
Committee not to let anybody go to the Winter Palace,'* he 
grumbled. "But I will send a comrade to telephone to 
Smolny. . . .' 



^'We insist upon passing! We are unarmed! We will 
march on whether you permit us or not !" cried old Schreider, 
very much excited. 

" I have orders '* repeated the sailor sullenly. 

"Shoot us if you want to! We will pass! Forward!** 
came from all sides. "We are ready to die, if you have the 
heart to fire on Russians and comrades ! We bare our breasts 
to your guns !" 

"No," said the sailor, looking stubborn, "I can't allow you 
to pass." 

"What will you do if we go forward? Will you shoot?** 

"No, I'm not going to shoot people who haven't any guns. 
We won't shoot unarmed Russian people. . • •" 

**We will go forward! What can you do?'* 

*^e will do something," replied the sailor, evidently at a 
loss. **We can't let you pass. We will do something." 

**What will you do? What will you do?" 

Another sailor came up, very much irritated. •^We will 
spank you!" he cried, energetically. "And if necessary we 
will shoot you too. . Go home now, and leave us in peace !" 

At this there was a great clamour of anger and resentment, 
Prokopovitch had mounted some sort of box, and, waving his 
umbrella, he made a speech: 

"Comrades and citizens!" he said. "Force is being used 
against us! We cannot have our innocent blood upon the 
hands of these ignorant men ! It is beneath our dignity to be 
shot down here in the street by switchmen — " (What he meant 
by "switchmen" I never discovered.) "Let us return to the 
Duma and discuss the best means of saving the country and the 
Revolution !" 

Whereupon, in dignified silence, the procession marched 
around and back up the Nevsky, always in column of fours. 
And taking advantage of the diversion we slipped past the 
guards and set ofi^ in the direction of the Winter Palace. 


Here it was absolutely dark, and nothing moved but pickets 
of soldiers and Red Guards grimly intent. In front of the 
Kazan Cathedral a three-inch field-gun lay in the middle of 
the street, slewed sideways from the recoil of its last shot over 
the roofs. Soldiers were standing in every doorway talking 
in low tones and peering down toward the Police Bridge. I 
heard one voice saying: ^^It is possible that we have done 
wrong. . . ." At the corners patrols stopped all passersby — 
and the composition of these patrols was interesting, for in 
command of the regular troops was invariably a Red Guard. 
• • • The shooting had ceased. 

Just as we came to the Morskaya somebody was shouting: 
^^The ywnkers have sent word they want us to go and get them 
out !" Voices began to give commands, and in the thick gloom 
we made out a dark mass moving forward, silent but for the 
shuffle of feet and the clinking of arms. We fell in with the 
first ranks. 

Like a black river, filling all the street, without song or 
cheer we poured through the Red Arch, where the man just 
ahead of me said in a low voice: *^Look out, comrades ! Don't 
trust thenu They will fire, surely !" In the open we began to 
run, stooping low and bunching together, and jammed up sud- 
denly behind the pedestal of the Alexander Column. 

"How many of you did they kill?" I asked. • 

"I don't know. About ten. . . ." 

After a few minutes huddling there, some hundreds of men, 
the army seemed reassured and without any orders suddenly 
began again to flow forward. By this time, in the light that 
streamed out of all the Winter Palace windows, I could see 
that the first two or three hundred men were Red Guards, with 
only a few scattered soldiers. Over the barricade of fire- 
wood we clambered, and leaping down inside gave a trium- 
phant shout as we stumbled on a heap of rifles thrown down 
by the ffwnkers who had stood there. On both sides of the 


main gateway the doors stood wide open, light streamed out| 
and from the huge pile came not the slightest sound. 
y Carried along by the eager wave of men we were swept 

into the right hand entrance, opening into a great bare vaulted 
room, the cellar of the East wing, from which issued a maze 
of corridors and stair-cases. A number of huge packing cases 
stood about, and upon these the Red Guards and soldiers fell 
furiously, battering them open with the butts of their rifles, 
and pulling out carpets, curtains, linen, porcelain plates, glass- 
ware. . • • One man went strutting around with a bronze clock 
perched on his shoulder; another found a plume of ostrich 
feathers, which he stuck in his hat. The looting was just 
beginning when somebody cried, ^'Comrades! Don't touch 
anything! Don't take anything! This is the property of 
the People!" Immediately twenty voices were crying, **Stop! 
Put everything back! Don't take anything! Property of 
the People!" Many hands dragged the spoilers down. 
Damask and tapestry were snatched from the arms of those 
who had them ; two men took away the bronze clock. Roughly 
and hastily the things were crammed back in their cases, and 
self-appointed sentinels stood guard. It was all utterly spon- 
taneous. Through corridors and up stair-cases the cry could 
be heard growing fainter and fainter in the distance, ^^Revolu- 
tionary discipline! Property of the People. . . ." 

We crossed back over to the left entrance, in the West 
wing. There order was also being established. **Clear the 
Palace!" bawled a Red Guard, sticking his head through an 
inner door. **Come, comrades, let's show that we're not thieves 
and bandits. Everybody out of the Palace except the Com- 
missars, until we get sentries posted." 
^ Two Red Guards, a soldier and an officer, stood with re- 

volvers in their hands. Another soldier sat at a table behind j 
them, with pen and paper. Shouts of "All out! All out!""* 
' were heard far and near within, and the Army began to pour^ 


t&rough the door, jostling, expostulating^* arguing. As each 
tnaLxi appeared he was seized by the self-^p^^inted committee, 
wbo went through his pockets and looked^tuider his coat. 
Everything that was plainly not his property Waij taken away, 
th^ man at the taUe noted it on his paper, andrt/was carried 
iut:.C3 a little room. The most amazing assortmexrt .of objects 
wex^ thus confiscated; statuettes, bottles of ink, bedj^preads 
wox-ked with the Imperial monogram, candles, a small oil- 
P^iiiting, desk blotters, gold-handled swords, cakes of >o^p9 
clo-fthes of every description, blankets. One Red Guard car- 
*i^?rf three rifles, two of which Jie had taken away from 
y^^'^^^ers; another had four portfolios bulging with writted 
^c^c^uments. The culprits either sullenly surrendered or 
pleaded like children. All talking at once the committee ex- 
pl^^ined that stealing was not worthy of the people's cham- 
pions; often those who had been caught turned around and 
b&^an to help go through the rest of the comrades.* 

Twnkers came out, in bunches of three or four. The com- 
n^'t;tee seized upon them with an excess of zeal, accompanying 
tfci.^ search with remarks like, **Ah, Provocators! Komilov- 
is'tc! Counter-revolutionists! Murderers of the People?* 
^vjt there was no violence done, although the yunkers were 
terrified. They too had their pockets full of small phmder, 
^^ Was carefully noted down by the scribe, and piled in the 
'i"ti;Ie room. . . . The ywnJeers were disarmed. "Now, will you 
*^lfe up arms against the People any more?'* demanded clam- 
o^iiiig voices. 

**No," answered the ytmkers, one by one. Whereupon they 
^^^*!^ allowed to go free. 

We asked if we might go inside. The committee was 

^Vittful, but the big Red Guard answered firmly that it was 

^^ ^Hidden. **Who are you anyway?'* he asked. "How do I 

^^^^ that you are not all Kerenskys? (There were five of 

^» two women.) 


• ' .' 

*^PazhaV8t\ tovqtUJ^tchil Way, Comrades!" A soldier 
and a Red Guard* .scppeared in the door, waving the crowd 
aside, and other 'jrcCards with fixed bayonets. After them fol- 
lowed single file- half a dozen men in civilian dress — ^the mem- 
bers of the :!pi:pvisional Government. First came Kishkin, his 
face dram'and pale, then Rutenberg, looking sullenly at the 
floor; "Q^^restchenko was next, glancing sharply around; he 
stared. at'*us with cold fixity. • • . They passed in silence ; the 
vic^Q^liious insurrectionists crowdisd to see, but there were 
,only a few angry mutterings. It was only later that we 
.«. Miirned how the people in the street wanted to lynch them, and 
^ •/•\ihots were fired — ^but the i^ailors brought them safely to Peter- 
*• Paul. . . . 

In the meanwhile unrebuked we walked into the Palace. 
There was still a great deal of coming and going, of exploring 
new-found apartments in the vast edifice, of searching for 
hidden garrisons of ywnkerg which did not exist. We went 
upstairs and wandered through room after room. This part 
of the Palace had been entered also by other detachments from 
the side of the Neva. The paintings, statues, tapestries and 
rugs of the great state apartments were unharmed; in the 
offices, however, every desk and cabinet had been ransacked, 
the papers scattered over the floor, and in the living rooms 
beds had been stripped of their coverings and ward-robes 
wrenched open. The most highly prized loot was clothing, 
which the working people needed. In a room where furniture 
was stored we came upon two soldiers ripping the elaborate 
Spanish leather upholstery from chairs. They explained it 
was to make boots with. ... 

The old Palace servants in their blue and red and gold 
uniforms stood nervously about, from force of habit repeating, 

"You can't go in there, harm! It is forbidden ^** We 

penetrated at length to the gold and malachite chamber with 
crimson brocade hangings where the Ministers had been in 


sion all that day and night, and where the shveitzari had be- 
trayed them to the Red Guards. The long table covered with 
green baize was just as they had left it, under arrest. Before 
each empty seat was ])en and ink and paper; the papers were 
scribbled over with beginnings of plans of action, rough drafts 
of proclamations and manifestos. Most of these were 
scratched out, as their futility became evident, and the rest of 
the sheet covered with absent-minded geometrical designs, as 
the writers sat despondently listening while Minister after Min- 
ister proposed chimerical schemes. I took one of these scrib- 
bled pages, in the hand writing of Konovalov, which read, 
**The Provisional Government appeals to all classes to support 
the Provisional Government — '* 

All this time, it must be remembered, although the Winter 
Palace was surrounded, the Government was in constant com- 
munication with the Front and with provincial Russia. The Bol- 
sheviki had captured the Ministry of War early in the morning, 
but they did not know of the military telegraph office in the 
attic, nor of the private telephone line connecting it with the 
Winter Palace. In that attic a young officer sat all day, 
pouring out over the country a flood of appeals and proclama- 
tions; and when he heard that the Palace had fallen, put on 
his hat and walked calmly out of the building. • . • 

Interested as we were, for a considerable time we didn't 
notice a change in the attitude of the soldiers and Red Guards 
around us. As we strolled from room to room a small group 
followed us, until by the time we reached the great picture- 
gallery where we had spent the afternoon with the ytmkers, 
about a hundred men surged in after us. One giant of a sol- 
dier stood in our path, his face dark with sullen suspicion. 

**Who are you?" he growled. "What are you doing here?" 
The others massed slowly around, staring and beginning to 
matter. ^^Provocatorir^ I heard somebody say. **Loot- 


ers l^ I produced our passes from the Military Revolutionary 
Coimnittee. The soldier took them gingerly, turned them 
upside down and looked at them without comprehension. Evi- 
dently he could not read. He handed them back and spat on 
the floor. *^Btimagi! Papers !'* said he with contempt. The 
mass slowly began to close in, like wild cattle around a cow- 
puncher on foot. Over their heads I caught sight of an officer, 
looking helpless, and shouted to him. He made for us, 
shouldering his way through. 

"Pm the Commissar," he said to me. "WTio are you? 
What is it?" The others held back, waiting. I produced the 

*Trou are foreigners?" he rapidly asked in Franch. "It is 
very dangerous. . . •" Then he turned to the mob, holding 
up our documents. "Comrades!" he cried. "These people 
are foreign comrades — from America. They have come here 
to be able to tell their countrjrmen about the bravery and the 
revolutionary discipline of the proletarian army!" 

"How do you know that?" replied the big soldier. "I tell 
you. they are provocators! They say they came here to 
observe the revolutionary discipline of the proletarian army, 
but they have been wandering freely through the Palace, and 
how do we know they haven't got their pockets full of loot?" 

**Pravilnor* snarled the others, pressing forward. 

"Comrades ! Comrades !" appealed the officer, sweat stand- 
ing out on his forehead. "I am Commissar of the Military 
Revolutionary Committee. Do you trust me? Well, I tell 
you that these passes are signed with the same names that are 
signed to my pass!" 

He led us down through the Palace and out through a 
door opening onto the Neva quay, before which stood the 
usual committee going through pockets. . . "You have nar- 
rowly escaped," he kept muttering, wiping his face. 

^*What happened to the Women's Battalion?" we asked. 


"Oh — the women P* He laughed. "They were all huddled 
up in a back room. We had a terrible time deciding what to 
do with them — ^many were in hysterics, and so on. So finally 
we marched them up to the Finland Station and put them on 
a train for Levashovo, where they have a camp.* . . .'* 

We came out into the cold, nervous night, murmurous with 
obscure armies on the move, electric with patrols. From 
across the river, where loomed the darker mass of Peter-Paul, 
came a hoarse i^hout. . • . Underfoot the sidewalk was lit- 
tered with broken stucco, from the cornice of the Palace where • 
two shells from the battleship Avrora had struck; that was 
the only damage done by the bombardment. • . • 

It was now after three in the morning. On the Nevsky all 
the street-lights were again shining, the cannon gone, and 
the only signs of war were Red Guards and soldiers squatting 
around fires. The city was quiet — probably never so quiet in 
its history; on that night not a single hold-up occurred, not 
a single robbery. 

But the City Duma Building was all illuminated. We 
mounted to the galleried Alexander Hall, hung with its great, 
gold-framed, red-shrouded Imperial portraits. About a hun- 
dred people were grouped around the platform, where Skobe- 
liev was speaking. He urged" that the Committee of Public 
Safety be expanded, so as to unite all the anti-Bolshevik ele- 
ments in one huge organisation, to be called the Committee for 
Salvation of Country and Revolution. And as we looked on, 
the Committee for Salvation was formed — that Committee 
j which was to develop into the most powerful enemy of the 
I Bolsheviki, appearing, in the next week, sometimes under its 
j own partisan name, and sometimes as the strictly non-partisan 
! Committee of Public Safety. • . • 

Dan, 6otz, Avksentiev were there, some of the insurgent 
Soviet delegates, members of the Executive Committee of the 
Peasants' Soviets, old Prokopovitch, and even members of the 


Council of the Republic — among whom Vinaver and other 
Cadets. Lieber cried that the convention of Soviets was not 
a legal convention, that the old Tsay-ee-kah was still in office. 
. . . An appeal to the country was drafted. 

We hailed a cab. **Where to?'' But when we said 
**Smolny," the izvoshtchik shook his head. *^Nietr* said he, 
**there are devils. . . .'' It was only after weary wandering 
that we found a driver willing to take us — and he wanted 
thirty rubles, and stopped two blocks away. 

The windows of Smolny were still ablaze, motors came 
and went, and around the stiU-leaping fires the sentries hud- 
dled close, eagerly asking everybody the latest news. The 
corridors were full of hurrying men, hollow-eyed and dirty. 
In some of the committee-rooms people lay sleeping on the 
floor, their guns beside them. In spite of the seceding dele- 
gates, the hall of meetings was crowded with people, roaring 
like the sea. As we came in, Kameniev was reading the list of 
arrested Ministers. The name of Terestchenko was greeted 
with thunderous applause, shouts of satisfaction, laughter; 
Rutenburg came in for less ; and at the mention of Faltchinsky, 
a storm of hoots, angry cries, cheers burst forth. ... It 
was announced that Tchudnovsky had been appointed Com- 
missar of the Winter Palace. 

Now occurred a dramatic interruption. A big peasant, 
his bearded face convulsed with rage, mounted the platform 
and pounded with his fist on the presidium table. 

**We, Socialist Revolutionaries, insist ui>on the immediate 
release of the Socialist Ministers arrested in the Winter Pal- 
ace! Comrades! Do you know that four comrades who 
risked their lives and their freedom fighting against tyranny 
of the Tsar, have been flung into Peter-Paul prison — ^the his- 
torical tomb of Liberty?" In the uproar he pounded and 
ydled. Another delegate climbed up beside him, and pointed 
at the presidium. 



^^Are the representatlTes of the revolutionary masses going 
to sit quietly here while the Okhrana of the Bolsheviki tortures 
their leaders?" 

Trotzky was gesturing for silence. "These 'comrades* 
who are now caught plotting the crushing of the Soviets with 
the adventurer Kerensky — is there any reason to handle them 
with gloves? After July 16th and 18th they didn't use much 
ceremony with us !" With a triumphant ring in his voice he 
cried, "Now that the oborontsi and the faint-hearted have 
gone, and the whole task of defending and saving the Revolu- 
tion rests on our shoulders, it is particularly necessary to 
work — work — ^work! jWe have decided to die rather than 
give up!'' 

Followed him a Commissar from Tsarskoye Selo^ panting 
and covered with the mud of his ride. '^The garrison of 
Tsarskoye Selo is on guard at the gates of Petrograd, ready 
to defend the Soviets and the Military Revolutionary Commit- 
tee!" Wild cheers. "The Cycle Corps sent from the front 
has arrived at Tsarskoye, and the soldiers are now with us; 
they recognise the power of the Soviets, the necessity of im- 
mediate transfer of land to the peasants and industrial control 
to the workers. The Fifth Battalion of Cyclists, stationed at 
Tsarskoye, is ours. . . ." 

Then the delegate of the Third Cycle Battalion. In the midst 
of delirious enthusiasm he told how the cycle corps h^d been 
ordered three days before from the South-west front to the 
"defence of Petrograd." They suspected, however, the meaning 
of the order; and at the station of Peredolsk were met by rep- 
resentatives of the Fifth Battalion from Tsarskoye. A joint 
meeting was held, and it was discovered that "among the 
cyclists not a single man was found willing to shed the blood 
of his brothers, or to support a Government of bourgeois and 
land-owners !" 

Kapelinski, for the Mensheviki Internationalists, proposed 


to elect a special conunittee to find a peaceful solution to the 
civil war. **There isn't any peaceful solution!" bellowed the 
crowd* **Victory is the only solution!" The vote was over- 
whelmingly against, and the Mensheviki Internationalists left 
the Congress in a whirlwind of jocular insults. There was no 
longer any panic fear. . . . Kameniev from the platform 
shouted after them, ^^The Mensheviki Internationalists claimed 
•emergency' for the question of a ^peaceful solution,' but they 
always voted for suspension of the order of the day in favour 
of declarations of factions which wanted to leave the Con- 
gress. It is evident," finished Kameniev, ^Hhat the withdrawal 
of all these renegades was decided upon beforehand !" 

The assembly decided to ignore the withdrawal of the fac- 
tions, and proceed to the appeal to the workers, soldiers and 
peasants of all Russia: 


The Second All-Russian Congress of Soviets of Workers' and 
Soldiers' Deputies has opened. It represents the great majority 
of the Soviets. There are also a number of Peasant deputies. 
Based upon the will of the great majority of the workers', soldiers 
and peasants, based upon the triumphant uprising of the Petrograd 
workmen and soldiers, the Congress assumes the Power. 

The Provisional Government is deposed. Most of the mem- 
bers of the Provisional Government are already arrested. 

The Soviet authority will at once propose an immediate demo- 
cratic peace to all nations, and an immediate truce on all fronts. 
It will assure the free transfer of landlord, crown and monastery 
lands to the Land Committees, defend the soldierr * rights, enforc- 
ing a complete democratisation of the Army, establish workers' 
control over production, ensure the convocation of the Constituent 
Assembly at the proper date, take means to supply bread to the 
cities and articles of first necessity to the villages, and secure to all 
nationalities living in Russia a real right to independent existence. 

The Congress resolves: that all local power shall be transferred 


to the Soviets of Workers/ Soldiers' and Peasants' Deputies^ which 
must enforce revolutionary order. 

The Congress calls upon the soldiers in the trenches to be 
watchful and steadfast. The Congress of Soviets is sure ihat the 
revolutionary Army will know how to defend the Revolution against 
all attacks of Imperialism^ until the new Government shall have 
brought about the conclusion of the democratic peace which it will 
directly propose to all natipns. The new Government will take 
all necessary steps to secure everything needful to the revolutionary 
Army^ by means of a determined policy of requisition and taication 
of the propertied classes^ and also to improve the situation of 
soldiers' families. 

The Kornilovitz — Kerensky, Kaledin and others^ are endeavour- 
ing to lead troops against Petrograd. Several regiments^ deceived 
by Eerensky^ have sided with the insurgent People. 

Soldiers! Make active resistance to the Kornilovitz — ^Keren- 
sky! Be on guard! 

Railway 'men! Stop all troop-trains being sent by Kerensky 
against Petrograd! 

Soldiers,' Workers^ Clerical employees! The destiny of the 
Revolution and democratic peace is in your hands ! 

Long live the Revolution ! 

>: The All-Russian Congress of Soviets of 

Workers' and Soldiers* Deputies. 
Delegates from the Peasants* Soviets. 

It was exactly 5 :17 A. M. when Krylenko, staggering with 
fatigue, climbed to the tribune with a telegram in his hand. 

"Comrades! From the Northern Front. The Twelfth 
Army sends greetings to the Congress of Soviets, announcing 
the formation of a Military Revolutionary Committee which 
has taken over the command of the Northern Front !'* Pande- 
monium, men weeping, embracing each other. "Gkneral 
Tchermissov has recognised the Committee — Commissar of the 
Provisional Government Voitinsky has resigned!" 

So. Lenin and the Petrograd workers had decided on in^ 



surrection, the Petrograd Soviet had overthrown the Provi- 
sional Government, and thrust the coup d'etat upon the Con- 
fess of Soviets. Now there was all great Russia to win — 
and then the world! Would Russia follow and rise? And the 
world — ^what of it? Would the peoples answer and rise, a red 

Although it was six in the morning, night was yet heavy 
and chill. There was only a faint unearthly pallor stealing 
over the silent streets, dimming the watch-fires, the shadow of 
a terrible dawn grey-rising over Russia. . • • 



Thursday, November 8th. Day broke on a city in the 
wildest excitement and confusion, a whole nation heaving up 
in long hissing swells of storm. Superficially all was quiet; 
hundreds of thousands of people retired at a prudent hour, got 
up early, and went to work. In Petrograd the street-cars were 
running, the stores and restaurants open, theatres goings au 
exhibition of paintings advertised. . . . All the complex rou- 
tine of common life — ^humdrum even in war-time — ^proceeded 
as usual. Nothing is so astounding as the vitality of the 
social organism — how it persists, feeding itself, clothing itself, 
amusing itself, in the face of the worst calamities. • • • 

The air was full of rumours about Kerensky, who was said 
to have raised the Front, and to be leading a great army 
against the capital. Volia Naroda published a prikaz 
launched by him at Pskov : 

The disorders caused by the insane attempt of the Bolshevik! 
place the country on the verge of a precipice^ and demand the effort 
of our^^tire will, our courage and the devotion of every one of us, 
to win through the terrible trial which the fatherland is under- 
gomg. • . . 

Until the declaration of the composition of the new Government 
— if one is formed — every one ought to remain at his post and ful- 
fil his duty toward bleeding Russia. It must be remembered that 
the least interference with existing Army organisations can bring <m 
irreparable misfortunes, by opening the Front to the enemy. There* 
fore it is indispensable to preserve at any price the morale of th^ 



troops^ by assuring complete order and the preservation of the 
Army from new shocks^ and by maintaining absolute confidence 
between' officers and their subordinates. I order all the chiefs and 
Conunissars^ in iiie name of the safety of the country^ to stay at 
their posts^ as I myself retain the post of Supreme Conunander^ 
until the Provisional Government of the Republic shall declare its 
will. • • • 

In answer, this placard on all the walls : 


''The ex-Ministers Konovalov^ Kishkin^ Terestchenko^ Malianto- 
vitch^ Nikitin and others have been arrested by the Military Revo- 
lutionary jCommittee. Kerensky has fled. All Army organisations 
are ordered to take every measure for ^e immediate arrest of 
Kerensky and his conveyance to Petrograd. 

"All assistance given to Kerensky will be punished as a serious 
crime against the state." 

With brakes released the Military Revolutionary Commit- 
tee whirled, throwing off orders, appeals, decrees, like sparks.^ | 
. . . Komilov was ordered brought to Petrograd. Members / 
of the Peasant Land Committees imprisoned by the Provisional 
Government were declared free. Capital punishment in the [ 
army was abolished. Government employees were ordered to i' ■ 
continue their work, and threatened with severe penalties if ' \ 
they refused. All pillage, disorder and speculation were for- ' 
bidden under pain of death. Temporary Commissars were ap- 
pointed to the various Ministries: Foreign Affairs, Vuritsky 
and Trotzky; Interior and Justice, Rykov; Labor, Shliapni- 
kov; Finance, Menzhinsky; Public Welfare, Madame Kollon- 
tai; Commerce, Ways and Communications, Riazanov; Navy, 
the sailor Korbir; Posts and Telegraphs, Spiro; Theatres, 
Muraviov; State Printing Office, Gherbychev; for the City 

^References in this chapter ref^r to the Appendix to Chapter V. See 
pa^e 888^ 


of Petrograd, Lieutenant Nesterov; for the Northern Frontf 
Pozern. • • . 

To the Army, appeal to set up Military Revolutionary 
Committees. To the railway workers, to maintain oraer, 
especially not to delay the transport of food to the cities and 
the front. ... In return, they were promised representation in 
the Ministry of Ways and Communications. 

Cossack brothers! (said one proclamation). You are being led 
against Petrograd. They want to force you into battle with the 
revolutionary workers and soldiers of the capital. Do not believe 
a word that is said by our common enemies^ the land-owners and 
the capitalists. 

At our Congress are represented all the conscious organisations 
of workers^ soldiers and peasants of Russia. The Congress wishes 
also to welcome into its midst the worker-Cossacks. The Generals 
of th^ Black Band^ henchmen of the land-owners^ of Nicolai the 
Cruel^ are our enemies. 

They tell you that the Soviets wish to confiscate the lands of the 
Cossacks. This is a lie. It is only from the great Cossack land- 
lords that the Revolution will confiscate the land to give it to the 

Organise Soviets of Cossacks' Deputies! Join with the Soviets 
of Workers' and Soldiers' Deputies! 

Show the Black Band that you are not traitors to the People^ 
and that you do not wish to be cursed by the whole of revolutionary 
Russia! . . . 

Cossack brothers^ execute no orders of the enemies of the people. 
Send your delegates to Petrograd to talk it over with us. . . . The 
Cossacks of the Petrograd garrison^ to their honour^ have not jus- 
tified the hope of the People's enemies. . . . 

Cossack brothers ! The All-Russian Congress of Soviets extends 
to you a fraternal hand. Long live the brotherhood of the Cos- 
sacks with the soldiers^ workers and peasants of all Russia! 

On the other side, what a storm of proclamations posted 
up, hand-bills scattered everywhere, newspapers — ^screaming 


and cursing and prophesying evil. Now raged the battle of 
the printing press — all other weapons being in the hands of 
the Soviets. 

First, the appeal of the Committee for Salvation of Coun- 
try and Revolution, flung broadcast over Russia and Europe: 


Contrary to the will of the revolutionary masses^ on November 
7th the Bolshevik! of Petrograd criminally arrested part of the 
Provisional Government^ dispersed the Council of the Republic^ 
and proclaimed an illegal power. Such violence committed against 
the Government of revolutionary Russia at the moment of its 
greatest external danger^ is an indescribable crime against the 

The insurrection of the Bolshevik! deals a mortal blow to the 
cause of national defence^ and postpones immeasurably the moment 
of peace so greatly desired. ' 

Civil war^ begun by the Bolshevik!^ threatens to deliver the 
country to the horrors of anarchy and counter-revolution^ and 
cause the failure of the Constituent Assembly^ which must a£Brm 
the republican regime and transmit to the People forever their 
right to the land. 

Preserving the continuity of the only legal Governmental power^ 
the Committee for Salvation of Country and Revolution^ established 
on the night of November 7th^ takes the initiative in forming a 
new Provisional Government; which^ basing itself on the forces 
of democracy^ will conduct the country to the Constituent Assembly 
and save it from anarchy and counter-revolution. The Committee 
for Salvation summons you^ citizens^ to refuse to recognise the 
power of violence. Do not obey its prders ! 

Rise for the defence of the country and Revolution! 

Support the Committee for Salvation ! 

Signed by the Council of the Russian Republic^ the Municipal 
Duma of Petrograd^ the Taay-ee-kah (First Congress), the Execu- 
tive Committee of the Peasants' Soviets^ and from the Congress it- 
self the Front group^ the factions of Socialist Revolutionaries^ Men- 


sheviki^ Populist Socialists^ Unified Social Democrats^ and the 
group "Yedinstvo." 

Then posters from the Socialist Revolutionary jMirty, the 
Mensheviki oborontsi^ Feasants' Soviets again; from the Cen- 
tral Army Committee, the Tsentroflot. . . . 

• . . Famine will crush Petrograd! (they cried). The German 
armies will trample on our liberty. Black Hundred pogroms will 
spread over Russia^ if we all — conscious workers^ soldiers^ citi- 
zens — do not unite. . . . 

Do not trust the promises of the Bolsheviki! The promise of 
immediate peace — is a lie! The promise of bread — ^a hoax! The 
promise of land — a fairy tale! . . . 

They were all in this manner. 

Comrades! You have been basely and cruelly deceived! The 
seizure of power has been accomplished by the Bolsheviki alone. 
• • • They concealed their plot from the other Socialist parties 
composing the Soviet. . . . 

You have been promised land and freedom^ but the counter-* 
revolution will profit by the anarchy called forth by the Bolsheviki^ 
and will deprive you of land and freedom. . . • 

The newspapers were as violent. 

Our duty (said the Dielo Naroda) is to unmask these traitors 
to the working-class. Our duty is to mobilise all our forces and 
mount guard over the cause of the Revolution! • . . 

Izviestia, for the last time speaking in the name of the old 
Tsay-ee-kah^ threatened awful retribution. 

As for the Congress of Soviets^ we affirm that there has been 
no Congress of Soviets! We affirm that it was merely a private 
conference of the Bolshevik faction! And in that case^ they have 
no right to cancel the powers of the Tsay-ee-kah. ... 


Novaya Zhizn, while pleading for a new Government that 
should unite all the Socialist parties, criticised severely the 
action of the Socialist Revolutionaries and the Mensheviki in 
quitting the Congress, and pointed out that the Bolshevik in- 
surrection meant one thing very clearly: that all illusions 
about coalition with the bourgeoisie were henceforth demon- 
strated vain. . . 

Rabotchi Put blossomed out as Pravda^ Lenin's newspaper 
which had been suppressed in July. It crowed, bristling: 

Workers^ soldiers^ peasants! In March you struck down 
the tyranny of the clique of nobles. Yesterday you struck down 
the tyranny of the bourgeois gang. . . . 

The first task now is to guard the approaches to Petrograd. 

The second is definitely to disarm the counter-revolutionary ele- 
ments of Petrograd. 

The third is definitely to organise the revolutionary power and 
assure the realisation of the popular programme. . . . 

What few Cadet organs appeared, and the bourgeoisie gen- 
erally, adopted a detached, ironical attitude toward the whole 
business, a sort of contemptuous "I-told-you-so" to the other 
parties. Influential Cadets were to be seen hovering around 
the Municipal Duma, and on the outskirts of the Committee 
for Salvation. Other than that, the bourgeoisie lay low, biding 
its hour — which could not be far off. That the Bolsheviki 
would remain in power longer than three days never occurred 
to anybody — except perhaps to Lenin, Trotzky, the Petrograd 
workers and the simpler soldiers. . . • 

In the high, amphitheatrical Nicolai Hall that afternoon 
I saw the Duma sitting in permanence^ tempestuous, grouping 
around it all tbe forces of opposition. The old Mayor, 
Schrnder, majestic with his white hair and beard, was describ- 
ing his visit to Smolny the night before, to protest in the 
name of the Municipal Self-Crovemment. ^^He Duma, being 


the only existing legal Government in the city, elected by equal, 
direct and secret suffrage, would not recognise the new power," 
he had told Trotzky. And Trotzky had answered, **There 
is a constitutional remeidy for that. The Duma can be dis- 
solved and re-elected. . . J* At this report there was a furious 

"If one recognises a Government by bayonet,** continued 
the old man, addressing the Duma, *Vell, we have one; but I 
consider legitimate only a Government recognised by the peo- 
ple, by the majority, and not one created by the usurpation 
of a minority!" Wild applause on all benches except those 
of the Bolsheviki. Amid r^enewed tumult the Mayor an- 
nounced that the Bolsheviki already were violating Municipal 
autonomy by appointing Commissars in many departments. 

The Bolshevik speaker shouted, trying to make himself 
heard, that the decision of the Congress of Soviets meant that 
all Russia backed up the action of the Bolsheviki. 

^TTou!" he cried. "You are not the real representative 
of the people of Petrograd!" Shrieks of "Insult! Insult!" 
The old Mayor, with dignity, reminded him that the Duma was 
elected by the freest possible popular vote. ^TTes," he an- 
swered, "but that was a long time ago — ^like the Taay-ee-kdh — 
like the Army Committee.*' 

"There has been no new Congress of Soviets!" they yelled 
at him. 

"The Bolshevik faction refuses to remain any longer in this 
nest of counter-revolution — ^** Uproar. " — and we demand a 
re-election of the Duma. . . .** Whereupon the Bolsheviki left 
the chamber, followed by cries of "German agents! Down 
with the traitors!" 

Shingariov, Cadet, then demanded that all Municipal func- 
tionaries who had consented to be Commissars of the Military 
Revolutionary Committee be discharged from their positioti 
and indicted. Schreider was on his feet, putting a motion to 


the effect that the Duma protested against the menace of the 
Bolsheviki to dissolve it, and as the legal representative of 
the population, it would refuse to leave its post. 

Outside, the Alexander Hall was crowded for the meeting 
of the Committee for Salvation, and Skobeliev was again 
speaking. "Never yet," he said, *Vas the fate of the 
Revolution so acute, never yet did the question of the 
existence of the Russian state excite so much anxiety, never 
yet did history put so harshly and categorically the question 
— is Russia to he or not to be! The great hour for the sal- 
vation of the Revolution has arrived, and in consciousness 
thereof we observe the close union of the live forces of the revo- 
lutionary democracy, by whose organised will a centre for the 
salvation of the country and the Revolution has already been 
created. . . .*' And much of the same sort. **We shall die 
sooner than surrender our post !'' 

Amid violent applause it was announced that the Union 
of Railway Workers had joined the Committee for Salvation. 
A few moments later the Post and Telegraph Employees came 
in; then some Mensheviki Internationalists entered the hall, 
to cheers. The Railway men said they did not recognise the 
Bolsheviki and had taken the entire railroad apparatus into 
their own hands, refusing to entrust it to any usurpatory 
power. The Telegraphers' delegate declared that the opera-, 
tors had flatly refused to work their instruments as long as 
the Bolshevik Commissar was in the office. The Postmen would 
not deliver or accept mail at Smolny. . . . All the Smolny 
telephones were cut off. With great glee it was reported how 
Uritzky had gone to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to 
demand the secret treaties, and how Neratov had put him out. 
The Gk)vemment employees were all stopping work. . . . .. — - 

It was war — ^war deliberately planned, Russian fashion; 
war by strike and sabotage. As we sat there the chairman 
read a list of names and assignments; so-and-so was to make 



the round of the Ministries; another was to visit the banks; 
some ten or twelve were to work the barracks anid persuade 
the soldiers to remain neutral — ^^^Russian soldiers, do not shed 
the blood of your brothers !" ; a committee was to go and con- 
fer with Eerensky; still others were despatched to provincial 
cities, to form branches of the Committee for SalvatioUf and 
link together the anti-Bolshevik elements. 

The crowd was in high spirits. ^^These Bolsheviki wttl 
try to dictate to the intelUgentziaf We'll show themP* . . . 
Nothing could be more striking than the contrast between this 
assemblage and the Congress of Soviets. There, great masses 
of shabby soldiers, grimy workmen, peasants — ^poor men, bent 
and scarred in the brute struggle for existence ; here the Men- 
shevik and Social Revolutionary leaders — ^AvksentievSf DanSf 
Liebers, — the former Socialist Ministers — Skobelievs, Tchep- 
novs, — rubbed shoulders with Cadets like oily Shatsky, sleek 
Vinaver; with journalists, students, intellectuals of almost all 
camps. This Duma crowd was well-fed, well-dressed; I did 
not see more than three proletarians among them alL • • • 

News came. Eomilov's faithful Tekhintsi* had slaugh- 
tered his guards at Bykhov, and he had escaped. Ealedin was 
marching north. . • . The Soviet of Moscow had set up a 
Military Revolutionary Committee, and was negotiating with 
the commandant of the city for possession of the arsenal, so 
that the workers might be armed. 

With these facts was mixed an astounding jumble of ru- 
mours, distortions, and plain lies. For instance, an intelligent 
young Cadet, formerly private secretary to Miliukov and then 
to Terestchenko, drew us aside and told us all about the taking 
of the Winter Palace. 

"The Bolsheviki were led by German and Austrian officers,*' 
he affirmed. 

"Is that so?'* we replied, politely. "How do you know?'* 
*See Notes and Explanations. 



^^A frknd of mine was there and saw them." 
**How could he tell they were Grerman officers?*' 
**0h, because they wore German uniforms!'* 
There were hundreds of such absurd tales, and they were 
not only solemnly published by the anti-Bolshevik press, but 
believed by the most unlikely persons — Socialist Revolution- 
aries and Mensheviki who had always been distinguished by 
their sober devotion to facts. . . . _^ 

But more serious were the stories of Bolshevik violence 
and terrorism. For example, it was said and printed that 
the Red Guards had not only thoroughly looted the Winter 
Palace, but that they had massacred the ywrikera after disarm- 
ing them, had killed some of the Ministers in cold blood; and 
as for the woman soldiers, most of them had been violated, 
and many had committed suicide because of the tortures they 
had gone through. . . . All these stories were swallowed whole 
by the crowd in the Duma. And worse still, the mothers and 
fathers^.of the studenta and of the women read these frightful 
details, often accompanied by lists of names, and toward 
nightfall the Diuna began to be besieged by frantic citi- 
zens. • • • 

A tjrpical case is that of Prince Tumanov, whose body, it 
was announced in many newspapers, had been foimd floating 
in the Moika Canal. A few hours later this was denied by the 
Princess family, who added that the Prince was under arrest, 
so the press identified the dead man as General Demissov. 
The Greneral having also come to life, we investigated, and 
could find no trace of any body having been found what- 
ever. . . . 

As we left the Duma building two boy scouts were distribut- 
ing hand-bills^ to the enormous crowd which blocked the Nev- 
sky in front of the door — a crowd composed almost entirely 
of business men, shop-keepers, tchmovniki, clerks. One read: 





The Municipal Duma in its meeting of October ^6th, in view 
of the events of the day decrees: To announce the inviolability of 
private dwellings. Through the House Committees it calls upon 
the population of the town of Petrograd to meet with decisive re- 
pulse all attempts to enter by force private apartments^ not stop- 
ping at the use of arms^ in the interests of the self-defence of 

Up on the corner of the Liteiny, five or six Red Guards and 
a. couple of sailors had surrounded a news-dealer and were 
demanding that he hand over his copies of the Menshevik Rabot- 
'chat/a Gazeta (Workers' Gazette). Angrily he shouted at 
them, shaking his fist, as one of the sailors tore the papers 
from his stand. An ugly crowd had gathered around, abusing 
the patrol. One little workman kept explaining doggedly to 
the people and the news-dealer, over and over again, "It has 
Kerensky's proclamation in it. It says we killed Russian peo- 
ple. It will make bloodshed. . • ." 

Smolny was tenser than ever, if that were possible. The 
same running men in the dark corridors, squads of workers 
with rifles, leaders with bulging portfolios arguing, explaining, 
giving orders as they hurried anxiously along, surrounded by 
friends and lieutenants. Men literally out of themselves, liv- 
ing prodigies of sleeplessness and work— men unshaven, filthy, 
1/ with burning eyes, who drove upon their fixed purpose 
full speed on engines of exaltation. So much they had 
to do, so much! Take over the Government, organise the 
City, keep the garrison loyal, fight the Duma anid the Com- 
mittee for Salvation, keep out the Germans, prepare to do 
battle with Eerensky, inform the provinces what had happened, 
propagandise from Archangel to Vladivostok. . . . Govern- 
ment and Municipal employees refusing to obey their Com- 
missars, post and telegraph refusing them communication, rail- 


roads stonily ignoring their api)eals for trains, Kerensky com- 
ing, the garrison not altogether to be trusted, the Cossacks 
waiting to come out. • . . Against them not only the organised 
bourgeoisie, but all the other Socialist parties except the Left 
Socialist Revolutionaries, a few Mensheviki Internationalists 
and the Social Democrat Internationalists, and even they unde- 
cided whether to stand by or not. With them, it is true, the 
workers and the soldier-masses — the peasants an unknown 
quantity — ^but after all the Bolsheviki were a political faction 
not rich in trained and educated men. . . • 

Riazanov was coming up the front steps, explaining in 
a sort of humorous panic that he. Commissar of Commerce, 
knew nothing whatever of business. In the upstairs caf£ sat 
a man all by himself in the comer, in a goat-skin cape and 
clothes which had been — I was going to say "slept in,'* but of 
course he hadn't slept — and a three days' growth of beard. 
He was anxiously figuring on a dirty envelope, and biting his 
pencil meanwhile. This was Menzhinsky, Commissar of 
Finance, whose qualifications were that he had once been clerk 
in a French bank. • . • And these four half-running down 
the hall from the oflBce of the Military Revolutionary 
Committee, and scribbling on bits of paper as they run — 
these were Commissars despatched to the four comers of Russia 
to carry the news, argue, or fight — ^with whatever arguments 
or weapons came to hand. • • • 

The Congreiss was to meet at one o'clock, and long since 
the great meeting-hall had filled, but by seven there was yet 
no sign of the presidium. • • . The Bolshevik and Left Social 
Revolutionary factions were in session in their own rooms. 
All the livelong afternoon Lenin and Trotzky had fought 
against compromise. A considerable part of the Bolsheviki 
were in favour of giving way so far as to create a joint 
all-Socialist government. **We can't hold on!" they cried. 


"Too much is against us. We haven't got the men. We will 
be isolated, and the whole thing will fall." So Eameniev, 
Riazanov and others. 

But Lenin, with Trotzky beside him, stood firm as a rock. 
*Xet the compromisers accept our programme and they can 
come in! We won't give way an inch. . If there are com- 
rades here who haven't the courage and the will to dare what 
we dare, let them leave with the rest of the cowards and 
conciliators! Backed by the workers and soldiers we shall 
go on." 

At five minutes past seven came word from the left Social- 
ist Revolutionaries to say that they would remain in the 
Military Revolutionary Committee. 

"See!" said Lenin. "They are following!'* 

A little later, as we sat at the press table in the big hall, 
an Anarchist who was writing for the bourgeois papers pro- 
posed to me that we go and find out what had become of the 
presidium. There was nobody in the Tsay-ee-kdh office, 
nor in the bureau of the Petrograd Soviet. From room 
to room we wandered, through vast Smolny. Nobody seemed 
to have the slightest idea where to find the governing body 
of the Congress. As we went my companion described his 
ancient revolutionary activities, his long and pleasant exile 
in France. • • . As for the Bolsheviki, he confided to me that 
they were common, rude> ignorant persons, without esthetic 
sensibilities. He was a real specimen of the Russian intelU" 
gentziam « . • So he came at last to Room 17, office of 
the Military Revolutionary Committee^ and stood there in the 
midst of all the furious coming and going. The door opened, 
and out shot a squat^ flat-faced man in a uniform without 
insignia, who seemed to be smiling — ^which smile, after a minute, 
one saw to be the fixed grin of extreme fatigue. It was. 
Erylenko. • 


My friend, who was a dapper, civilized-looking young man, 
gave a cry of pleasure and stepped forward. 

"NicolaiVasilievitch !''he said,hoIding out his hand. "Don't 
you remember me, comrade? We were in prison together." 

Erylenko made an effort and concentrated his mind and 
sight. **Why yes," he answered finally, looking the other 
up and down with an expression of great friendliness. "You 

are S . Zdra*stvuittfe!" They kissed. "What are you 

doing in all this?" He waved his arm around. 

"Oh, I'm just looking on. . . . You seem very successful." 

"Yes," replied Krylenko, with a sort of doggedness, "The 
proletarian Revolution is a great success." He laughed. 
"Perhaps — perhaps, however, we'll meet in prison again!" 

When we got out into the corridor again my friend went 
on with his explanations. "You see, I'm a follower of Kropot- 
kin. To us the Revolution is a great failure; it has not 
aroused the patriotism of the masses. Of course that only 
proves that the people are not ready for Revolution. . . ." 

It was just 8.40 when a thimdering wave of cheers an- 
nounced the entrance of the presidium, with Lenin — great 
Lenin — among them. A short, stocky figure, with a big head 
set down in his shoulders, bald and bulging. Little eyes, a 
snubbish nose, wide, generous mouth, and heavy chin; clean- 
shaven now, but already beginning to bristle with the well- 
known beard of his past and future. Dressed in shabby 
clothes, his trousers much too long for him. Unimpressive, 
to be the idol of a mob, loved and revered as perhaps few 
leaders in history have been. A strange popular leader — a 
leader purely by virtue of intellect; colourless, humourless, 
uncompromising and detached, without picturesque idiosyncra- 
sies — but with the power of explaining profound ideas in sim- 
ple terms, of analysing a concrete situation. And combined 
with shrewdness, the greatest intellectual audacity. 



Kameniev was reading the report of the actions of the 
Military Revolutionary Committee; abolition of capital pun- 
ishment in the Army, restoration of the free right of propa- 
ganda, release of officers and soldiers arrested for political 
crimes, orders to arrest Kerensky and confiscation of food 
supplies in private store-houses. . . . Tremendous applause. 

Again the representative of the Bund. The uncompromis- 
ing attitude of the Bolsheviki would mean the crushing of the 
Revolution; therefore, the Bund delegates must refuse any 
longer to sit in the Congress. Cries from the audience, **We 
thought you walked out last night! How many more times 
are you going to walk out?" 

Then the representative of the Mensheviki International- 
ists. Shouts, **What! You here still?" The speaker ex- 
plained that only part of the Mensheviki Internationalists left 
the Congress ; the rest were going to stay 

**We consider it dangerous and perhaps even mortal for 
the Revolution to transfer the power to the Soviets" — Inter- 
ruptions — "but we feel it our duty to remain in the Congress 
and vote against the transfer here!" 

Other speakers followed, apparently without any order. 
A delegate of the coal-miners of the Don Basin called upon 
the Congress to take measures against Kaledin, who might cut 
off coal and food from the capital. Several soldiers just 
arrived from the Front brought the enthusiastic greetings of 
their regiments. . . . Now Lenin, gripping the edge of "the 
reading stand, letting his little winking eyes travel over the 
crowd as he stood there waiting, apparently oblivious to the 
long-rolling ovation, which lasted several minutes. When it 
'? finished, he said simply, "We shall now proceed to construct the 
Socialist order!" Again that overwhelming human roar. 

"The first thing is the adoption of practical measures to 

^ realise peace. • . . We shall offer peace to the peoples of all 

the belligerent countries upon the basis of the Soviet terms— 


no annexations, no Indemnities, and the right of self-determina- 
tion of peoples. At the same time, according to our promise, we 
shall publish and repudiate the secret treaties. . . . The ques- 
tion of War and Peace is so clear that I think that I may, 
without preamble, read the project of a Proclamation to the 
Peoples of All the Belligerent Countries. . . ." 

His great mouth, seeming to smile, opened wide as he 
spoke; his voice was hoarse — not unpleasantly so, but as if 
it had hardened that way after years and years of speaking — 
and went on monotonously, with the effect of being able to go 
on forever. . . . For emphasis he bent forward slightly. No 
gestures, '^nd before him, a thousand simple faces looking 
up in intent adoration. 



The Workers* and Peasants' Government, created by the revo- 
lution of November 6th and 7th and based on the Soviets of 
Workers'^ Soldiers' and Peasants' Deputies, proposes to all the bel- 
ligerent peoples and to their Governments to begin immediately 
negotiations for a just and democratic peace. 

The Government means by a just and democratic peace, which 
is desired by the immense majority of the workers and the labouring 
classes, exhausted and depleted by the war — that peace which 
the Russian workers and peasants, after having struck down the 
Tsarist monarchy, have not ceased to demand categorically — ^imme- 
diate peace without annexations (that is to say, without conquest of 
foreign territory, without forcible annexation of other nationali- 
ties), and without indemnities. 

The Government of Russia proposes to all the belligerent 
peoples immediately to conclude such a peace, by showing them- 
selves willing to enter upon the decisive steps of negotiations aim- 
ing at such a peace, at once, without the slightest delay, before 
the definitive ratification of all the conditions of such a peace 



by the authorised assemblies of the people of all countries and 
of all nationalities. 

By annexation or conquest of foreign territory^ the Govern- 
ment means — conformably to the conception of democratic rights 
in general^ and the rights of the working-class in particular — ^all 
union to a great and strong State of a small or weak nationality^ 
without the voluntary^ clear and precise expression of its consent 
and desire; whatever be the moment when such an annexation by 
force was accomplished^ whatever be the degree of civilisation of 
the nation annexed by force or maintained outside the frontiers 
of another State^ no matter if that nation be in Europe or in the 
far countries across the sea. 

If any nation is retained by force within the limits of another 
State; if^ in spite of the desire expressed by it^ (it matters little if 
that desire be expressed by the press^ by popular meetings^ de- 
cisions of political parties^ or by disorders and riots against 
national oppression)^ that nation is not given the right of deciding 
by free vote — ^without the slightest constraint^ after the complete 
departure of the armed forces of the nation which has annexed it 
or wishes to annex it or is stronger in general — ^the form of its 
national and political organisation^ such a union constitutes an an- 
nexation — that is to say^ conquest and an act of violence. 

To continue this war in order to permit the strong and rich 
nations to divide among themselves the weak and conquered nation- 
alities is considered by the Government the greatest possible crime 
against humanity; and the Government solemnly proclaims its de- 
cision to sign a treaty of peace which wiU put an end to this war 
upon the above conditions^ equally fair for all nationalities without 

The Government abolishes secret diplomacy^ expressing before 
the whole country its firm decision to conduct all the negotiations 
in the light of day before the people^ and will proceed immediately 
to the full publication of all secret treaties confirmed or concluded 
by the Government of land-owners and capitalists^ from March 
until November 7th^ 1917. All the clauses of the secret treaties 
which^ as occur in a majority of cases^ have for their object to pro- 
cure advantages and privileges for Russian capitalists^ to maintain 


or augment the annexations of the Russian imperialists^ are de- 
nounced by the Government immediately and without discussion. 

In proposing to all Governments and all peoples to engage in 
public negotiations for peace^ the Government declares itself ready 
to carry on these negotiations by telegraphy by post^ or by pourpar- 
lers between the representatives of the different countries^ or at a 
conference of these representatives. To facilitate these pourparlers, 
the Government appoints its authorised representatives in the 
neutral countries. 

The Government proposes to aU the governments and to the 
peoples of all the belligerent countries to conclude an immediate 
armistice, at the same time suggesting that the armistice ought to 
last three months, during which time it is perfectly possible, not 
only to hold the necessary pourparlers between the representatives 
of all the nations and nationalities without exception drawn into 
the war or forced to take part in it, but also to convoke authorised 
assemblies of representatives of the people of all countries, for the 
purpose of the definite acceptance of the conditions of peace. 

In addressing this offer of peace to the Governments and 
to the peoples of all the belligerent countries, the Provisional 
Workers' and Peasants' Government of Russia addresses equally 
and in particular the conscious workers of the three nations 
most devoted to humanity and the three niost important nations 
among those taking part in the present war — England, France, 
and Germany. The workers of these countries have rendered the 
greatest services to the cause of progress and of Socialism. The 
splendid examples of the Chartist movement in England, the 
series of revolutions, of world-wide historical significance, accom- 
plished by the French proletariat — and finally, in Germany, the 
historic struggle against the Laws of Exception, an example for 
the workers of the whole world of prolonged and stubborn action, 
and the creation of the formidable organisations of German pro- 
letarians — ^all these models of proletarian heroism, these monu- 
ments of history, are for us a sure guarantee that the workers of 
these countries will understand the duty imposed upon them to 
liberate humanity from the horrors and consequences of war; and 
that these workers, by decisive, energetic and continued action, will 


help us to bring to a successful conclusion the cause of peace—' 
and at the same time^ the cause of the liberation of the exploited 
working masses from all slavery and all exploitation. 

When the grave thunder of applause had died away, Lenin 
spoke again : 

**We propose to the Congress to ratify this declaratibn. 
We address ourselves to the Governments as well as to the 
peoples, for a declaration which would be addressed only to 
the peoples of the belligerent countries might delay the con- 
clusion of peace. The conditions of peace, drawn up during 
the armistice, will be ratified by the Constituent Assembly. In 
fixing the duration of the armistice at three months, we desire 
to give to the peoples as long a rest as possible after this 
bloody extermination, and ample time for them to elect their 
representatives. This proposal of peace will meet with re- 
sistance on the part of the imperialist governments — ^we don't 
fool ourselves on that score. But we hope that revolutian 
will soon break out in all the belligerent countries; that is 
why we address ourselves especially to the workers of France, 
England and Germany. • • . 

"The revolution of November 6th and 7th,'' he ended, 
"has opened the era of the Social Revolution. . . . The 
labour movement, in the name of peace and Socialism, shall 
win, and fulfil its destiny. . . ." 

There was something quiet and powerful in all this, which 
stirred the souls of men. It was understandable why people 
believed when Lenin spoke. . • • 

By crowd vote it was quickly decided that only representar 
tives of political factions should be allowed to speak on the 
motion and that speakers should be limited to fifteen minutes. 

First Karelin for the Left Socialist Revolutionaries. "Our 
faction had no opportunity to propose amendments to fhe 
text of the proclamation; it is a private document of the 


Bolsheviki. But we will vote for it because we agree with its 
spirit. . . .'* 

For the Social Democrats Internationalists Kramarov, 
long, stoop-shouldered and near-sighted — destined to achieve 
some notoriety as the Clown of the Opposition. Only a Gov- 
ernment composed of all the Socialist parties, he said, could 
possess the authority to take such important action. If a 
Socialist coalition were formed, his faction would support the 
entire programme; if not, only part of it. As for the 
proclamation, the Internationalists were in thorough accord 
with its main points. • • • 

Then one after another, amid rising enthusiasm ; Ukrainean 
Social Democracy, support ; Lithuanian Social Democracy, sup- 
port; Populist Socialists, support; Polish Social Democracy, 
support ; Polish Socialists support — ^but would prefer a Social- 
ist coalition; Lettish Social Democracy, support. . . . Some- 
thing was kindled in these men. One spoke of the ^^coming 
World-Revolution, of which we are the advance-guard''; an- 
other of "the new age of brotherhood, when all the peoples 
will become one great family. . • .'' An individual member 
claimed the floor. "There is contradiction here," he' said. 
^^First you offer peace without annexations and indemnities, 
and then you say you will consider all peace offers. To con- 
sider means to accept. • . •'* 

Lenin was on his feet. **We want a just peace, but we 
are not afraid of a revolutionary war. . . . Probably the 
imperialist Governments will not answer our appeal — but we 
shall not issue an ultimatum to which it will be easy to say 
no. • • • If the German proletariat realises that we are ready 
to consider all offers of peace, that will perhaps be the last 
drop which overflows the bowl — ^revolution will break out in 
Grermany. • • • 

"We consent to examine aU conditions of peace, but that 
doesn't mean that we shall accept them. • • • For some of 


our terms we shall figfat to the end — ^but possibly for others 
will find it impossible to continue the war. • • . Above all, we 
want to finish the war. . . ." 

It was exactly 10 :36 when Kamenley asked all in favour of 
the proclamation to hold up their cards. One delegate dared 
to raise his hand against, but the sudden sharp outburst 
around him brought it swiftly down. • . . Unanimous. 

Suddenly, by common impulse, we found ourselves on our 
feet, mumbling together into the smooth lifting unison of the 
Interruitionale. . A grizzled old soldier was sobbing like a 
child. Alexandra Kollontai rapidly winked the tears back. 
The immense sound rolled through the hall, burst windpws 
and doors and seared into the quiet sky. ^*The war is endeid ! 
The war is ended!'' said a young workman near me, his face 
shining. And when it was l)ver, as we stood there in a kind 
of awkward hush, some one in the back of the room shouted, 
^^Comrades! Let us remember those who have died for lib- 
erty!" So we began to sing the Funeral March, that slow, 
melancholy and yet triumphant chant, so Russian anid so mov- 
ing. The Interndtionale is an alien air, after all. The 
Funeral March seemed the very soul of those dark masses 
whose delegates sat in this hall, building from their obscure 
visions a new Russia — and perhaps more. 

You fell in the fatal fight 

For the liberty of the people, for the honour of the people . • . 

You gave up your lives and everything dear to you. 

You suffered in horrible prisons. 

You went to exile in chains. . . . 

Without a word you carried your chains because you could not 
ignore your suffering brothers, 

Because you believed that justice is stronger than the sword. . • • 

The time will come when your surrendered life will count. 

That time is near; when tyranny falls the people will rise^ 
great and free I 


Farewell^ brothers^ you chose a noble path. 
You are followed by the new and fresh army ready to die and 
to imffer. • • • 

Farewell, brothers, you chose a noble path. 
At 3rour grave we swear to fight, to work for freedom and 
the people's happiness. • . • 

For this did they lie there, the martyrs of March, in 
their cold Brotherhood Grave on Mars Field; for this thou- 
sands and tens of thousands had died in the prisons, in exile, 
in Siberian mines. It had not come as they expected it would 
come, nor as the intelligentzia desired it ; but it had come — 
rough, strong, impatient of formulas, contemptuous of senti- 
mentalism; reoL • • • y 

Lenin was reading the Decree on Land: 

(1.) All private ownership of land is abolished immediately 
without compensation. 

(2.) All land-owners' estates, and all lands belonging to the 
Crown, to monasteries, church lands ^v^th all their live stock and 
inventoried property, buildings and all appurtenances, are trans- 
ferred to the disposition of the township Land Committees and the 
district Soviets of Peasants' Deputies until the Constituent Assem- 
bly meets. 

(8.) Any damage whatever done to the confiscated property 
which from now on belongs to the whole People, is regarded as a 
serious crime, punishable by the revolutionary tribunals. The dis- 
trict Soviets of Peasants' Deputies shall take all necessary measures 
for the observance of the strictest order during the taking over of 
the land-owners' estates, for the determination of the dimensions of 
the plots of land and which of them are subject to confiscation, for 
the drawing up of an inventory of the entire confiscated property, 
and for the strictest revolutionary protection of all the farming 
property on the land, with all buildings, implements, cattle, sup- 
plies of products, etc., passing into the hands of the People. 


(4.) For guidance during the realisation of the great land re- 
forms nntil Uieir final resolution by the Constituent Assembly^ shall 
serve the following peasant nakaz ' (instructions)^ drawn up on the 
basis of 242 local peasant nakazi by the editorial board of the 
"Izviettia of the All-Russian Soviet of Peasants' Deputies/' and 
published in No. 88 of said ''IztieiUa** (Petrograd^ No. M, August 
19th, 1917). 

The lands of peasants and of Cossacks serving In the Army 
shall not be confiscated. 

"This is not/* explained Lenin, •Hhe project of former 
Minister Tchemov, who spoke of ^erecting a frame-work' and 
tried to realise reforms from above. From below, on the 
spot, will be decided the questions of division of the land. The 
amount of land received by each peasant will vary according 
to the locality. • . . 

^^nder the Provisional Government, the pomieshtchiki 
flatly refused to obey the orders of the Land Committees — 
those Land Committees projected by Lvov, brought into exist- 
ence by Shingariov, and administered by Kerensky!" 

Before the debates could begin a man forced bis way vio- 
lently through the crowd in the aisle and climbed upon the 
platform. It was Pianikh, member of the Executive Conmiit- 
tee of the Peasants' Soviets, and he was mad clean through. 

"The Executive Committee of the All-Russian Soviets of 
Peasants' Deputies protests against the arrest of our com- 
rades, the Ministers Salazkin and Mazlov!" he flung harshly 
in the faces of the crowd, ^^We demand their instant release ! 
They are now in Peter-Paul fortress. We must have im- 
mediate action ! There is not a moment to lose .^' 

Another followed him, a soldier with disordered beard and 
flaming eyes. ^^You sit here and talk about giving the land to 
the peasants, and you commit an act of tyrants and usurpers 
against the peasants' chosen representatives! I tell you — ^ 
he raised his fist, ^4f one hair of their heads is harmed, yoQ*!! 


have a revolt on your hands P' The crowd stirred confusedly. 

Then up rose Trotzky, calm and venomous, conscious of 
power, greeted with a roar. "Yesterday the Military Revolu- 
tionary Committee decided to release the Socialist Revolu- 
tionary and Menshevik Ministers, Mazlov, Salazkin, Gvozdov 
and Maliantovitch — on principle. That they are still in 
Peter-Paul is only because we have had so much to do. • • • 
They will, however, be detained at their homes under arrest 
until we have investigated their complicity in the treacherous 
acts of Kerensky during the Kornilov affair!" 

**Never," shouted Pianikh, **in any revolution have such 
things been seen as go on here!" 

"You are mistaken," responded Trotzky. "Such things 
have been seen even in this revolution. Hundreds of our 
comrades were arrested in the July days. . . . When Comrade 
KoUontai was released from prison by the doctor's orders, 
Avksentiev placed at her door two former agents of the Tsar's 
secret police!" The peasants withdrew, muttering, followed 
by ironical hoots. 

The representative of the Left Socialist Revolutionaries 
spoke on the Land Decree. While agreeing in principle, his 
faction could not vote on the question until after discussion. 
The Peasants' Soviets should be consulted. . . . 

The Mensheviki Internationalists, too, insisted on a party 

Then the leader of the Maximalists, the Anarchist wing 
of the peasants: **We must do honour to a political party 
which puts such an act into effect the first day, without jawing 
about it !" 

A typical peasant was in the tribune, long hair, boots 
and sheep-skin coat, bowing to all corners of the hall. "I wish 
you well, comrades and citizens," he said. "There are some 
Cadets walking around outside. You arrested our Socialist 
peasants — ^why not arrest them?" 


This was the signal for a debate of excited peasants. It 
was precisely like the debate of soldiers of the ni^t before. 
Here were the real proletarians of the land. • • • 

"Those members of our Executive Committee, Avksentiev 
and the rest, whom we thought were the peasants' protectors — 
they are only Cadets too! Arrest them! Arrest them!*' 

Another, "Who are these Pianikhs, these Ayksentieys? 
They are not peasants at all ! They only wag their tails !" 

How the crowd rose to them, recognising brothers I 

The Left Socialist Revolutionaries proposed a half-hour 
intermission. As the delegates streamed out, Lenin stood up 
in his place. 

"We must not lose time, comrades! News all-important 
to Russia must be on the press to-morrow morning. No delay !" 

And above the hot discussion, argument, shuffling of feet 
could be heard the voice of an emissary of the Military Revo- 
lutionary Committee, crying, "Fifteen agitators wanted in 
room 17 at once ! To go to the Front !'*... 

It was almost two hours and a half later that the delegates 
came straggling back, the presidium mounted the platform, 
and the session recommenced by the reading of telegrams from 
regiment after regiment, announcing their adhesion to the 
Military Revolutionary Committee. 

In leisurely manner the meeting gathered momentum. A 
delegate from the Russian troops on the Macedonian front 
spoke bitterly of their situation. "We suffer there more from 
the friendship of our ^Allies' than from the enemy,*' be said. 
Representatives of the Tenth and Twelfth Armies, just arrived 
in hot haste, reported, "We support you with all our strength !**" 
A peasant-soldier protested against the release of ^Hhe traitor 
Socialists, Mazlov and Salazkin''; as for the Executive Com- 
mittee of the Feasants' Soviets, it should be arrested en ma$$et 

. \ 


Here was real revolutionary talk. • • . A deputy from the 
Russian Army in Persia declared he was instructed to demand 
all power to the Soviets. ... A Ukrainean officer, speaking in 
his native tongue: ^^There is no nationalism in this crisis. • . . 
Da zdravstvuyet the proletarian dictatorship of all lands P' 
Such a deluge of high and hot thoughts that surely Russia 
would never again be dmnb! 

Kameniev remarked that the anti-Bolshevik forces were 
trying to stir up disorders everywhere, and read an appeal 
of the Congress to all the Soviets of Russia: 

The All-Russian Congress of Soviets of Workers' and Soldiers' 
Deputies^ including some Peasants' Deputies^ calls upon the local 
Soviets to take immediate energetic measures to oppose all counter- 
revolutionary anti-Jewish action and all pogroms, whatever they 
may be. The honour of the Workers', Peasants' and Soldiers' 
Revolution demands that no pogrom be tolerated. 

The Red Guard of Petrograd, the revolutionary garrison and 
the sailors have maintained complete order in the capital 

Workers, soldiers and peasants, you should follow everywhere 
the example of the workers and soldiers of Petrograd. 

Comrade soldiers and Cossacks, on us falls the duty of assur- 
ing real revolutionary order. 

All revolutionary Russia and the entire world have their eyes on 
us. ... 

At two o*clock the Land Decree was put to vote, with only 
one against and the peasant delegates wild with joy. ... So 
plimged the Bolsheviki ahead, irresistible, over-riding hesi^ar 
tion and opposition — the only people in Russia who had a defi- 
nite programme of action while the others talked for eight long 

Now arose a soldier,, gaunt, ragged and eloquent, to pro- 
test against the clause of the nakaz tending to deprive mili- 
tary deserters from a share in village land allotments. 
Bawled at and hissed at first, his simple, moving speech finally 


made silencej. ^^Forced against his will into the butchery 
of the trenches,'' he cried, "which you yourselves, in the Peace 
decree, have voted senseless as well as horrible, he greeted 
the Revolution with hope of peace and freedom. PeaK^e? 
The Government of Kerensky forced him again to go forward 
into Galicia to slaughter and be slaughtered; to his pleas for 
peace, Terestchenko simply laughed. . • . Freedom? Under^ 
Kerensky he found his Committees suppressed, his newspapers 
cut oiF, his party speakers put in prison. • • • At home in his 
village, the landlords were defying his Land Committees, jail- 
ing his comrades. ... In Petrograd the bourgeoisie, in alli- 
ance with the Germans, were sabotaging the food and am- 
munition for the Army. • • . He was without boots, or 
clothes. . . . Who forced him to desert? The Government 
of Kerensky, which you have overthrown?* At the end there 
was applause. 

But another soldier hotly denounced it : •The ^Government 
of Kerensky is not a screen bdiind which can be hidden dirty 
work like desertion! Deserters are scoundrels, who run away 
home and leave their comrades to die in the trenches alone! 
Every deserter is a traitor, and should be punished. • • •" 
Uproar, shouts of *^Do volno! TeescheT Kameniev hastily 
proposed to leave the matter to the Government for decision.^ 

At S.30 A. M. fell a tense hush. Kameniev was reading the 
decree of the Constitution of Power : 

Until the meeting of the Constituent Assembly, a provisional 
/ Workers' and Peasants' Government is formed, which shall be 
named the Council of People's Commissars.^ 

The administration of the different branches of state activity 
shall be intrusted to commissions, whose composition shall be regu- 
lated to ensure the carrying out of the programme of the Congress, 
in close union with the mass-organisations of working-men, working- 
women, sailors, soldiers, peasants and clerical employees. The 
governmental power is vested in a collegium made up of the chalr- 



men of these commissions^ that is to say^ the Council of People's 

Control over the activities of the People's Commissars^ and the 
right to replace them^ shall belong to the All-Russian Congress of 
Soviets of Workers'^ Peasants' and Soldiers' Deputies^ and its 
Central Executive Committee. 

Still silence; as he read the list of Commissars, bursts 
of applause after each name, Lenin's and Trotzky's especially. 

President of the Council: Vladimir Ulianov {Lenin) 
Interior: A. E. Rykov 
Agriculture: V. P. Miliutin 
Labour: A. G. Shliapnikov 

MUitarff and Naval Affairs — a committee composed of V. A. 
Avseenko (Antonov), N. V. Erylenko^ and F. M. Dybenko. 
Commerce and Industry: V. P. Nogin 
Popular Education: A. V. Lunatcharsky 
Finance: E. E. Skvortsov {S4epanov) 
Foreign Affairs: L. D. Bronstein {Trotzhy') 
Justice: G. E. Oppokov (JLomov) 
Supplies: E. A. Teodorovitch 
Post and Telegraph: N. P. Avilov {Gliehov) 
Chairman for Nationalities: I. V. Djougashvili (^Sialin) 
Railroads: To be filled later. 

There were bayonets at the edges of the room, bayonets 
pricking up among the delegates ; the Military Revolutionary 
Committee was arming everybody, Bolshevism was arming for 
the decisive battle with Eerensky, the sound of whose trumpets 
came up the south-west wind. ... In the meanwhile nobody 
went home ; on the contrary hundreds of newcomers filtered in, 
filling the great room solid with stem-faced soldiers and work- 
men who stood for hours and hours, indefatigably intent. 
The air was thick with cigarette smoke, and human breathing, 
and the smell of coarse clothes and sweat. 


AvUoy of the stafF of Novaya Zhizn was speaking in the 
name of the Social Democrat Internationalists and the rem- 
nant of the Mensheviki Internationalists; Avilov, with his 
young, intelligent face, looking out of place in his smart frock- 

**We must ask ourselves where we are going. . . • The 
ease with which the Coalition Government was upset cannot 
be explained by the strength of the left wing of the democracy, 
but only by the incapacity of the Government to give the 
people peace and bread. And the left wing cannot maintain 
itself in power unless it can solve these questions. • • • 

"Can it give bread to the people? Grain is scarce. The 
majority of the peasants will not be with you, for you cannot 
give them the machinery they need. Fuel and other primary 
necessities are almost impossible to procure. • • • 

"As for peace, that will be even more difficult. The Allies 
refused to talk with Skobeliev. They will never accept the 
proposition of a peace conference from yoti. You will not 
be recognised either in London and Paris, or in Berlin. • • • 

"You cannot count on the effective help of the proletariat 
of the Allied countries, because in most countries it is very 
far from the revolutionary struggle; remember, the Allied de- 
mocracy was unable even to convoke the Stockholm Confer- 
ence. Concerning the German Social Democrats, I have just 
talked with Comrade Goldenberg, one of our delegates to 
Stockholm ; he was told by the representatives of the Extreme 
Left that revolution in Germany was impossible during the 
war. . . ." Here interruptions began to come thick and fast, 
but Avilov kept on. 

"The isolation of Russia will fatally result either in the 
defeat of the Russian Army by the Germans, and the patching 
up of a peace between the Austro-G^rman coalition and the 
Franco-British coalition at the expense of Rtusia — or ill a 
separate peace with Germany. 



1 have just learned that the Allied ambassadors are pre- 
paring to leave, and that Committees for Salvation of Country 
and Revolution are forming in aU the cities of Russia. • • • 

^^No one party can conquer these enormous difficulties. 
The majority of the people, supporting a government of 
Socialist coalition, can alone accomplish the Revolution. • • •" 

He then read the resolution of the two factions : 

Recognising that for the salvation of the conquests of the 
Revolution it is indispensable immediately to constitute a govern- 
ment based on the revolutionary democracy organised in the So- 
viets of Workers^' Soldiers' and Peasants* Deputies^ recognising 
moreover that the task of this government is the quickest possible 
attainment of peace^ the transfer of the land into the hands of the 
agrarian committees, the organisation of control over industrial 
production, and the convocation of the Constituent Assembly on the 
date decided, the Congpress appoints an executive committee to con- 
stitute such a government after an agreement with the groups of the 
democracy which are taking part in the Congress. 

In spite of the revolutionary exaltation of the triumphant 
crowd, Avilov's cool tolerant reasoning had shaken them. To- 
ward the end, the cries and hisses died away, and when he 
finished there was even some clapping. 

Karelin followed him — also young, fearless, whose sincerity 
no one doubted — for the Left Socialist Revolutionaries, the 
party of Maria Spiridonova, the party which almost alone 
followed the Bolsheviki, and which represented the revolution- 
ary peasants. 

"Our party has refused to enter the Council of People's 
Commissars because we do not wish forever to separate our- 
selves from the part of the revolutionary army which left the 
Congress, a separation which would make it impossible for 
us to serve as intermediaries between the Bolsheviki and the 
other groups of the democracy, • . . And that is our princi- 


pal duty at this moment. We cannot sustain any government 
except a government of Socialist coalition. • . • 

"We protest, moreover, against the tyrannical conduct of 
the Bolsheviki. Our Commissars have been driven from their 
posts. Our only organ, Znamia Truda (Banner of Labour ), 
was forbidden to appear yesterday. . • . 

"The Central Duma is forming a powerful Committee for 
Salvation of Country and Revolution, to fight you. Already 
you are isolated, and your Government is without the support 
of a single other democratic group. . . /' 

And now Trotzky stood upon the raised tribune, confident 
and dominating, with that sarcastic expression about his 
mouth which was almost a sneer. He spoke, in a ringing 
voice, and the great crowd rose to him. 

"These considerations on the dangers of isolation of our 
party are not new. On the eve of insurrection our fatal 
defeat was also predicted. Everybody was against us; only 
a faction of the Socialist Revolutionaries of the left was with 
us in the Military Revolutionary Committee. How is it that 
we were able to overturn the Government almost without blood- 
shed? • • . That fact is the most striking proof that we 
were not isolated. In reality the Provisional Government was 
isolated; the democratic parties which march against us were 
isolated, are isolated, and forever cut off from the proletariat ! 

"They speak of the necessity for a coalition. There is 
only one coalition possible — the coalition of the workers, sol- 
diers and poorest peasants; and it is our party's honour to 
have realised that coalition. • . . What sort of coalition did 
Avilov mean? A coalition with those who supported the Gov- 
ernment of Treason to the People? Coalition doesn't always 
add to strength. For example, could we have organised the 
insurrection with Dan and Avksentiev in our ranks?" Roars 
of laughter. 

"Avksentiev gave little bread. Will a coalition with the 


oborontsi furnish more? " Between the peasants and Avk^en- 
tiev, who ordered the arrest of the Land Committees, we choose 
the peasants! Our Revolution will remain the classic revolu- 
tion of history. • • . 

**They accuse us of repelling an agreement with the other 
democratic parties. But is it we who are to blame? Or must 
we, as Karelin put it, blame it on a ^misunderstanding'? No, 
comrades. When a party in full tide of revolution, still 
wreathed in powder-smoke, comes to say, *Here is the Power — 
take it!* — and when those to whom it is offered go over to the 
enemy, that is not a misunderstanding • • • that is a declara- 
tion of pitiless war. And it isn't we who have declared 
wflir* • • • 

"Avilov menaces us with failure of our peace efforts — ^if 
we remain ^isolated.' I repeat, I don't see how a coalition 
with Skobeliev, or even Terestchenko, can help us to get 
peace! Avilov tries to frighten us by the threat of a peace 
at our expense. And I answer that in any case, if Europe 
continues to be ruled by the imperialist bourgeoisie, revolu- 
tionary Russia will inevitably be lost. • • • 

"There are only two alternatives ; either the Russian Revo- 
lution will create a revolutionary movement in Europe, or the 
European powers will destroy the Russian Revolution!'* 

They greeted him with an immense crusading acclaim, 
kindling to the daring of it, with the thought of championing 
mankind. And from that moment there was something con- 
scious and decided about the insurrectionary masses, in all 
their actions, which never left them. 

But on the other side, too, battle was taking form. 
Kameniev recognised a delegate from the Union of Railway 
Workers, a hardfaced, stocky man with an attitude of implac- 
able hostility. He threw a bombshell. 

^^Li the name of the strongest organisation in Russia I 
demand the right to speak, and I say to you: the Vikzhel 



charges me to make known the decision of the Union concern- 
ing the constitution of Power. The Central Committee re- 
fuses absolutely to support the Bolsheviki if they persist in 
isolating themselves from the whole democracy of Russia!" 
Immense tumult all over the hall. 

"In 1905, and in the Kornilov days, the Railway Workers 
were the best defenders of the Revolution. But you did not 
invite us to your Congress — ^* Cries, "It was the old Tsay-ee- 
kdh which did not invite you!'* The orator paid no atten- 
tion. **We do not recognise the legality of this Congress; 
since the departure of the Mensheviki and Socialist Revolu- 
tionaries there is not a legal quorum. . . . The Union sup- 
ports the old Tsay-ee-kahy and declares that the Congress has 
no right to elect a new Committee. • . . 

"The Power should be a Socialist and revolutionary Power, 
responsible before the authorised organs of the entire revolu- 
tionary democracy. Until the constitution of such a power, 
the Union of Railway Workers, which refuses to transport 
counter-revolutionary troops to Petrograd, at the same time 
forbids the execution of any order whatever without the con- 
sent of the VikzheL The Vikzhel also takes into its hands the 
entirfe administration of the railroads of Russia." 

At the end he could hardly be heard for the furious storm 
of abuse which beat upon him. But it was a heavy blow — 
that could be seen in the concern on the faces of the presidium. 
Eameniev, however, merely answered that there could be no 
doubt of the legality of the Congress, as even the quorum 
established by the old Tsay-ee-kdh was exceeded — in spite of 
the secession of the Mensheviki and Socialist Revolution- 
aries. • • • 

Then came the vote on the Constitution of Power, which 
carried the Council of People's Commissars into office by an 
enormous majority. • • • 


The election of the new Tsay-ee-kah, the new parliament of 
the Russian Republic, took barely fifteen minutes. Trotzky an- 
noimced its composition: 100 members, of which 70 Bolsheviki. 
... As for the peasants, and the seceding factions, places were 
to be reserved for them. "We welcome into the Government all 
parties and groups which will adopt our programme," ended 

And thereupon the Second All-Russian Congress of Soviets / 
was dissolved, so that the members might hurry to their homes 
in the four comers of Russia and tell of the great hap- 

f • m 


It was almost seven when we woke the sleeping conductors 
and motor-men of the street-cars which the Street-Railway 
Workers' Union always kept waiting at Smolny to take the 
Soviet delegates to their homes. In the crowded car there 
was less happy hilarity than the night before, I thought. 
Many looked anxious ; perhaps they were saying to themselves, 
"Now we are masters, how can we do our will?'' 

At our apartment-house we were held up in the dark by 
an armed patrol of citizens and carefully examined. The 
Duma's proclamation was doing its work. • . • 

The landlady heard us come in, and stumbled out in a pink 
silk wrapper. 

^^The House Committee has again asked that you take 
your turn on guard-duty with the rest of the* men," she said. 

**What'8 the reason for this guard-duty?" 

*To protect the house and the women and children." 

**Who from?" 

"Robbers and murderers." 

"But suppose there came a Commissar from the Military 
Revolutionary Committee to search for arms?" 


^^Oh) that's what theyll say they aie. • • • And besides, 
what's the difference?" 

I solemnly affirmed that the Consul had forbidden all 
American citizens to carry arms — especially in the neighbour- 
hood of the Russian intelligentzia. • • • 



Fbiday, November 9th, 

• • • 

Novotcherkask^ November 8th. 

In view of the revolt of the Bolsheviki^ and their attempt to 
depose the Provisional Government and to seize the power in 
Petrograd . . . the Cossack Government declares that it considers 
these acts criminal and absolutely inadmissible. In consequence^ 
the Cossacks will lend all their support to the Provisional Govern* 
ment^ which is a government of coalition. Because of these cir- 
cumstances^ and until the return of the Provisional Government 
to power^ and the restoration of order in Russia^ I take upon 
myself^ beginning November 7th^ all the power in that which 
concerns the region of the Don. 

Signed: Ataman Kaledin 

President of the Government of the 
Cossack Troops, 

Prikaz of the Minister-President Kerensky, dated at 

I, Minister-President of the Provisional Government, and Su- 
preme Commander of all the armed forces of the Russian Republic, 
declare that I am at the head of regiments from the Front who 
have remained faithful to the fatherland. 

I order all the troops of the Military District of Petrograd, 
who through mistake or folly have answered the appeal of the 
traitors to the country and the Revolution, to return to their duty 
without delay. 



This order shall be read in all regiments^ battalions and 

Signed: Minister-President of the Provisional 
Government and Supreme Commander 

A. F. Kerenskt. 

Telegram from Kerensky to the General in Command of 
the Northern Front: 

The town of Gatehina has been taken by the loyal regiments 
without bloodshed. Detachments of Cronstadt sailors^ and of the 
Semionovsky and Ismailovsky regiments^ gave up their arms without 
resistance and joined the Government troops. 

I order all the designated units to advance as quickly as possible. 
The Military Revolutionary Committee has ordered its troops to 
retreat. . • • 

Gatehina, about thirty kilometers south-west, had fallen 
during the night. Detachments of the two regiments men- 
tioned — not the sailors — while wandering captainless in the 
neighbourhood, had indeed been surrounded by Cossacks and 
given up their arms ; but it was not true that they had joined 
the Government troops. At this very moment crowds of 
them, bewildered and ashamed, were up at Smolny trying to 
explain. They did not think the Cossacks were so near. . . . 
They had tried to argue with the Cossacks. . . . 

Apparently the greatest confusion prevailed along the 
revolutionary front. The garrisons of all the little towns 
southward had split hopelessly, bitterly into two factions— or 
three: the high command being on the side of Kerensky, in 
default of anything stronger, the majority of the rank and 
file with the Soviets, and the rest unhappily wavering. 

Hastily the Military Revolutionary Committee appointed 
to command the defence of Petrograd an ambitious regular 
Army captain, Muraviov; the same Muraviov who had organ- 
ised the Death Battalions during the summer, and had once 


been heard to advise the Government that **it was too lenient 
with the Bolsheviki; they must be wiped out.'* A man of 
military mind, who admired power and audacity, perhaps sin- 
cerely. ... 

Beside my door when I came down in the morning were 
posted two new orders of the Military Revolutionary Com- 
mittee, directing that all shops and stores should open as 
usual, and that all empty rooms and apartments should be 
put at the disposal of the Committee. . . . 

For thirty-six hours now the Bolsheviki had been cut off 
from provincial Russia and the outside world. The railway 
men and telegraphers refused to transmit their despatches, the 
postmen would not handle their mail. Only the Government 
wireless at Tsarskoye Selo launched half-hourly bulletins and 
manifestoes to the four corners of heaven; the Commissars of 
Smolny raced the Commissars of the City Duma on speeding 
trains half across the earth; and two aeroplanes, laden with 
propaganda, fled high up toward the Front. . . . 

But the eddies of insurrection were spreading through 
Russia with a swiftness surpassing any human agency. Hel- 
singfors Soviet. passed resolutions of support; Kiev Bolsheviki 
captured the arsenal and the telegraph station, only to be 
driven out by delegates 'to the Congress of Cossacks, which 
happened to be meeting there; in Kazan, a Military Revolu- 
tionary Committee arrested the local garrison staff and 
the Commissar of the Provisional Government; from far 
Krasnoyarsk, in Siberia, came news that the Soviets were in 
control of the Municipal institutions; at Moscow, where the 
situation was aggravated by a great strike of leather-workers 
on one side, and a threat of general lock-out on the other, the 
Soviets had voted overwhelmingly to support the action of 
the Bolsheviki in Petrograd. . . . Already a Military Revolu- 
tionary Committee was functioning. 


Everywhere the same thing happened. The Common sol- 
diers and the industrial workers supported the Soviets by a 
vast majority; the officers, ywnkers and middle class generally 
were on the side of the Government — as were the bourgeois 
Cadets and the ^^moderate" Socialist parties. In all these 
towns sprang up Committees for Salvation of Country and 
Revolution, arming for civil war. . . . 

Vast Russia was in a state of solution. As long ago as 
1905 the process had begun; the March Revolution had mere- 
ly hastened it, and giving birth to a sort of forecast of the 
new order, had ended by merely perpetuating the hollow 
structure of the old regime. Now, however, the Bolsheviki, in 
one night, had dissipated it, as one blows away smoke. Old 
Russia was no more; human society flowed molten in primal 
heat, and from the tossing sea of flame was emerging the class 
struggle, stark and pitiless — and the fragile, slowly-cooling 
crust of new planets. . . . 

In Petrograd sixteen Ministries were on strike, led by the 
Ministries of Labour and of Supplies — ^the only two created 
by the all-Socialist Government of August. 

If ever men stood alone the "handful of Bolsheviki" appar- 
ently stood alone that grey chill morning, with all storms 
towering over them.^ Back against the wall, the Military 
Revolutionary Committee struck — for its life. "D^ Vaudace, 
encore de Vaudacey et toujours de Vaudace. . . ." At five in 
the morning the Red Guards entered the printing office of 
the City Government, confiscated thousands of copies of the 
Appeal-Protest of the Duma, and suppressed the official 
Municipal organ — the Viestnilc Gorodskovo Samoupravleniya 
(Bulletin of the Municipal Self-Govemment). All the bour- 
geois newspapers were torn from the presses, even the Golos 
Soldata, journal of the old Tsay-ee-kah — which, however, 

^ All references in this chapter refer to the Appendix to Chapter VL 
See page 341. 


changing its name to Soldatski Golos^ appeared in an edition 
of a hundred thousand copies, bellowing rage and defiance: 

The men who began their stroke of treachery in the nighty who 
have suppressed the newspapers^ will not keep the country in ignor* 
ance long. The country will know the truth! It will appreciate 
you^ Messrs. the Bolshevik! ! We shall see! . . . 

As we came down the Nevsky a little after midday the 
whole street before the Duma building was crowded with peo- 
ple. Here and there stood Red Guards and sailors, with 
bayonetted rifles, each one surrounded by about a hundred 
men and women — clerks, students, shopkeepers, tchinovniki — 
shaking their fists and bawling insults and menaces. On the 
steps stood boy-scouts and officers, distributing copies of the 
Soldatski Golos. A workman with a red band around his arm 
and a revolver in his hand stood trembling with rage and 
nervousness in the middle of a hostile throng at the foot of 
the stairs, demanding the surrender of the papers. • . • Noth- 
ing like this, I imagine, ever occurred in history. On one side 
a handful of workmen and common soldiers, with arms in 
their hands, representing a victorious insurrection — and per- 
fectly miserable; on the other a frantic mob made up of the 
kind of people that crowd the sidewalks of Fifth Avenue at 
noon-time, sneering, abusing, shouting, "Traitors! Provoca- 
tors ! Opritchniki!*^^ 

The doors were guarded by students and officers with 
white arm-bands lettered in red, "Militia of the Committee of 
Public Safety," and half a dozen boy-scouts came and went. 
Upstairs the place was all commotion. Captain Gomberg 
was coming down the stairs. "They're going to dissolve the 
Duma," he said. "The Bolshevik Commissar is with the Mayor 
now." As we reached the top Riazanov came hurrying out. 
He had been to demand that the Duma recognise the Council 
* Savage body-guards of Ivan the Terrible, 17th century. 


of Peoples' Commissars, and the Mayor had given him a flat 

In the offices a great babbling crowd, hurrying, shouting, 
gesticulating — Government officials, intellectuals, journalists, 
foreign correspondents, French and British officers. . . • The 
City Engineer pointed to them triumphantly. "The Embas- 
sies recognise the Duma as the only power now," he explained. 
"For these Bolshevik murderers and robbers it is only a ques- 
tion of hours. All Russia is rallying to us. . . ." 

In the Alexander Hall a monster meeting of the Committee 
for Salvation. Fillipovsky in the chair and SkobeHev again 
in the tribune, reporting, to immense applause, new adhesions 
to the Committee; Executive Committee of Peasants' Soviets, 
old Tsay-ee-kahy Central Army Committee, Tsentroflot, Men- 
shevik. Socialist Revolutionary and Front group delegates 
from the Congress of Soviets, Central Committees of the Men- 
shevik. Socialist Revolutionary, Populist Socialist parties, 
"Yedinstvo" group. Peasants' Union, Cooperatives, Zem- 
stvos. Municipalities, Post and Telegraph Unions, VikzheU 
Council of the Russian Republic, Union of Unions,* Merchants* 
and Manufacturers' Association. . . . 

**. . . The power of the Soviets is not a democratic power, 
but a dictatorship — and not the dictatorship of the prole- 
tariat, but against the proletariat. All those who have felt 
or know how to feel revolutionary enthusiasm must join now 
for the defence of the Revolution. . . . 

"The problem of the day is not only to render harmless 
irresponsible demagogues, but to fight against the counter- 
revolution. ... If nmiours are true that certain generals in 
the provinces are attempting to profit by events in order to 
march on Petrograd with other designs, it is only one more 
proof that we must establish a solid base of democratic govern- 
* See Notes and Explanations. 


ment. Otherwise, troubles with the Right will follow troubles v-^^ 
from the Left. . . . 

**The garrison of Petrograd cannot remain indifferent when 
citizens buying the Goloi Soldata and newsboys selling the 
Rahotchaya Gazeta are arrested in the streets. . . . 

"The hour of resolutions has passed. . . . Let those who 
have no longer faith in the Revolution retire. ... To estab- 
lish a united power, we must again restore the prestige of the 
Revolution. • • • 

*Tiet us swear that either the Revolution shall be saved — 
or we shall perish !" 

The hall rose, cheering, with kindling eyes. There was not / 
ajdngkLCroletarian anywhere in sight. ... 1/' 

Then Wemstein: ^, 

*We must remain calm, and not act until public opinion is 
firmly grouped in support of the Committee for Salvation — 
then we can pass from the defensive to action !*' 

The Vikzhel representative announced that his organisa- 
tion was taking the initiative in forming the new Government, 
and its delegates were now discussing the matter with Smolny. 
. • . Followed a hot discussion: were the Bolsheviki to be 
admitted to the new Government? Martov pleaded for their 
admission; after all, he said, they represented an important 
political party. Opinions were very much divided upon this, 
the right wing Mensheviki and Socialist Revolutionaries, as well 
as the Populist Socialists, the Cooperatives and the bourgeois 
elements being bitterly against. ... 

**They have betrayed Russia," one speaker said. "They 
have started civil war and opened the front to the Germans*, 
The Bolsheviki must be mercilessly crushed. . . ." 

Skobeliev was in favor of excluding both the Bolsheviki 
and the Cadets. 

We got into conversation with a young Socialist Revolu- 
tionary, who had walked out of the Democratic Conference to- 



gether with the Bolsheviki, that night when Tseretelli and 
the ^^compromisers" forced Coalition upon the democracy of 

**You here?" I asked him. 

His eyes flashed fire. "Yes!" he cried. "I left the Con- 
gress with my party Wednesday night. I have not risked my 
life for twenty years and more to submit now to the tyranny 
of the Dark People. Their methods are intolerable. But 
they have not counted on the peasants. • . • When the peas- 
ants begin to act, then it is a question of minutes before they 
are done for." 

**But the peasants — will they act? * Doesn't the Land de- 
cree settle the peasants? What more do they want?" 

**Ah, the Land decree!" he said furiously. "Yes, do you 
know what that Land decree is? It is our decree — ^it is the 
Socialist Revolutionary programme, intact ! My party framed 
that policy, after the most careful compilation of the wishes 
of the peasants themselves. It is an outrage. • • .'* 

"But if it is your own policy, why do you object? If it 
is the peasants' wishes, why will they oppose it?" 

^^You don't understand! Don't you see that the peasants 
will immediately realise that it is all a trick — that these 
usurpers have stolen the Socialist Revolutionary programme?" 

I asked if it were true that Kaledin was marching north. 

He nodded, and rubbed his hands with a sort of bitter satis- 
faction. "Yes. Now you see what these Bolsheviki have 
done. They have raised the counter-revolution against us. 
The Revolution is lost. The Revolution is lost." 

"But won't you defend the Revolution?" 


"Of course we will defend it — to the last drop of our 
blood. But we won't cooperate with the Bolsheviki in any 
way. . • ." 

"But if Kaledin comes to Petrograd, and the Bolsheviki 
defend the city. Won't you join with them?" 


"Of course not. We will defend the city also, but we won*t 
support the Bolsheviki. Kaledin is the enemy of the Revolu- 
tion, but the Bolsheviki are equally enemies of the Revolution.'* 

"Which do you prefer — Kaledin or the Bolsheviki?" 

"It is not a question to be discussed!'' he burst out impa- 
tiently. **I tell you, the Revolution is lost. And it is the 
Bolsheviki who are to blame. But listen — ^why should we talk 
of such things? Kerensky is coming. . . . Day after to- 
morrow we shall pass to the offensive. . . . Already Smolny 
has sent delegates inviting us to form a new Government. But 
we have them now — they are absolutely impotent. . . . We 
shall not cooperate. . . ." 

Outside there was a shot. We ran to the windows. A Red 
Guard, finally exasperated by the taunts of the crowd, had 
shot into it, wounding a young girl in the arm. We could see 
her being lifted into a cab, surrounded by an excited throng, 
the clamour of whose voices floated up to us. As we looked, 
suddenly an armoured automobile appeared around the comer 
of the Mikhailovsky, its guns sluing this way and that. Im- 
mediately the crowd began to run, as Petrograd crowds do, 
falling down and lying still in the street, piled in the gutters, 
heaped up behind telephone-poles. The car lumbered up to 
the steps of the Duma and a man stuck his head out of the 
turret, demanding the surrender of the Soldatski Golos. The 
boy-scouts jeered and scuttled into the building. After a 
moment the automobile wheeled undecidedly around and went 
off up the Nevsky, while some hundreds of men and women 
picked themselves up and began to dust their clothes. . . • 

Inside was a prodigious running-about of people with arm- 
fuls of Soldatski GoloSy looking for places to hide them. . . . 

A journalist came running into the room, waving a paper. 

"Here's a proclamation from Krasnov !" he cried. Every- 
body crowded around. "Get it printed — get it printed quick, 
and around to the barracks !" 


By the order of the Supreme Commander I am appointed com- 
mandant of the troops concentrated under Petrograd. 

Citizens^ soldiers^ valorous Cossacks of the Don^ of the Kuban^ 
of the Transbaikal^ of the Amur^ of the Yenissei^ to all jou who 
have remained faithful to your oath I appeal; to you who have 
sworn to guard inviolable your oath of Cossack — I call upon you 
to save Petrograd from anarchy^ from famine^ from tyranny^ and 
to save Russia from the indelible shame to which a handful of 
ignorant men^ bought by the gold of Wilhelm^ are trying to sub- 
mit her. 

The Provisional Government^ to which you swore fidelity in the 
great days of March^ is not overthrown^ but by violence expelled 
from the edifice in which it held its meetings. However the 
Government^ with the help of the Front armies^ faithful to their 
duty^ with the help of the Council of Cossacks^ which has united 
under its command all the Cossacks and which^ strong with the 
morale which reigns in its ranks^ and acting in accordance with 
the will of the Russian people^ has sworn to serve the country as 
its ancestors served it in the Troublous Times of 1612^ when the 
Cossacks of the Don delivered Moscow^ menaced by the Swedes^ the 
Poles^ and the Lithuanians. Your Government still exists. . . • 

The active army considers these criminals with horror and 
contempt. Their acts of vandalism and pillage^ their crimes^ the 
German mentality with which they regard Russia — stricken down 
but not yet surrendered — ^have alienated from them the entire 

Citizens^ soldiers^ valorous Cossacks of the garrison of Petro- 
grad; send me your delegates so that I may know who are traitors 
to their country and who are not^ that there may be avoided an 
effusion of innocent blood. 

Almost the same moment word ran from group to group 
that the building was surrounded by Red Guards. An officer 
strode in, a red band around his arm, demanding the Mayor. 
A few minutes later he left and old Schreider came out of his 
office, red and pale by turns. 


"A special meeting of the Duma!'* he cried. "Immedi- 
ately !'* 

In the big hall proceedings were halted. "AU members of 
the Duma for a special meeting!" 

"What's the matter?" 

"I don't know — going to arrest us — agoing to dissolve the 
Duma — arresting members at the door — ^" so ran the excited 

In the Nicolai Hall there was barely room to stanii. The 
Mayor announced that troops were stationed at all the doors, 
prohibiting all exit and entrance, and that a Commissar had 
threatened arrest and the dispersal of the Municipal Duma. 
A flood of impassioned speeches from members, and even from 
the galleries, responded. The freely-elected City Government 
could not be dissolved by any power; the Mayor's person and 
that of all the members were inviolable ; the tyrants, the provo- 
cators, the German agents should never be recognised ; as for 
these threats to dissolve us, let them try — only over our dead 
bodies shall they seize this chamber, where like the Roman 
senators of old we await with dignity the coming of the 
Goths. • • • 

Resolution, to inform the Dumas and Zemstvos of all Rus- 
sia by telegraph. Resolution, that it was impossible for the 
Mayor or the Chairman of the Duma to enter into any rela- 
tions whatever with representatives of the Military Revolu- 
tionary Committee or with the so-called Council of People's 
Commissars. Resolution, to address another appeal to the 
population of Petrograd to stand up for the defence of their 
elected town government. Resolution, to remain in perma- 
nent session. • » . 

In the meanwhile one member arrived with the information 
that he had telephoned to Smolny, and that the Military Revo- 
lutionary Committee said that no orders had been given to 
surround the Duma, that the troops would be withdrawn. • . • 



As we went downstairs Riazanov burst in through the 
front door, very agitated. 

**Are you going to dissolve the Duma?" I asked. 

"My God, no !" he answered. "It is all a mistake. I told 
the Mayor this morning that the Duma would be left 
alone. . • ." 

Out on the Nevsky, in the deepening dusk, a long double 
file of cyclists came riding, guns slung on their shoulders. 
They halted, and the crowd pressed in and deluged them with 

*Who are you? Where do you come from?" asked a fat 
old man with a cigar in his mouth. 

"Twelfth Army. From the front. We came to support 
the Soviets against the damn' bourgeoisie!" 

"Ah!" were furious cries. "Bolshevik gendarmes! Bol- 
shevik Cossacks!" 

A little officer in a leather coat came running down the 
steps. "The garrison is turning!" he muttered in my ear. 
"It's the beginning of the end of the Bolsheviki. Do you want 
to see the turn of the tide? Come on!" He started at a 
half-trot up the Mikhailovsky, and we followed. 

"What regiment is it?" 

"The brtmnoviki. . . ." Here was indeed serious trouble. 
The brurmoviki were the Armoured Car troops, the key to 
the situation ; whoever controlled the brtmnoviki controlled the 
city, "The Commissars of the Committee for Salvation 
and the Duma have been talking to them. There's a meeting 
on to decide. . . ." 

"Decide what? Which side they'll fight on?" 

"Oh, no. That's not the way to do it. They'll never 
fight against the Bolsheviki. They will vote to remain neutral 
— and then the yunkers and Cossacks—* — " 

The door of the great Mikhailovsky Riding-School yawned 
blackly. Two sentinels tried to stop us, but we brushed by 


hurriedly, deaf to their indignant expostulations. Inside only 
a single arc-light burned dimly, high up near the roof of the 
enormous hall, whose lofty pilasters and rows of windows 
vanished in the gloom. Around dimly squatted the mon- 
strous shapes of the armoured cars. One stood alone in the 
centre of the place, under the light, and round it were gathered 
some two thousand dun-colored soldiers, almost lost in the 
immensity of that imperial building. A dozen men, officers, 
chairmen of the Soldiers' Committees and speakers, were 
perched on top of the car, and from the central turret a 
soldier was speaking. This was IChanjunov, who had been 
president of last summer's all-Russian Congress of Brmmoviki. 
A lithe, handsome figure in his leather coat with lieutenant's 
shoulder-straps, he stood pleading eloquently for neutrality. 

**It is an awful thing," he said, "for Russians to kill their 
Russian brothers. There must not be civil war between sol- 
diers who stood shoulder to shoulder against the Tsar, and 
conquered the foreign enemy in battles which will go down 
in history! What have we, soldiers, got to do with these 
squabbles of political parties? I will not say to you that 
the Provisional Government was a democratic Government; 
we want no coalition with the bourgeoisie — ^no. But we 
must have a Gt)vemment of the united democracy, or Russia 
is lost! With such a Government there will be no need for 
civil war, and the killing of brother by brother !" 

This sounded reasonable — ^the great hall echoed to the 
crash of hands and voices. 

A soldier climbed up, his face white and strained. "Com- 
rades!" he cried, "I came from the Rumanian front, to urg- 
ently tell you all: there must be peace! Peace at once! 
Whoever can give us peace, whether it be the Bolsheviki or 
this new Government, we will follow. Peace! We at the 
front cannot fight any longer. We cannot fight either Ger- 
mans or Russians———" With that he leaped down, and a 



8ort of confused agonised sound rose up from all that surging 
mass, which burst into something like anger when the next 
speaker, a Menshevik ohoroneiZy tried to say that the war 
must go on until the Allies were victorious. 

"You talk like Kerensky !" shouted a rough voice. 

A Duma dejlegate, pleading for neutrality. Him they 
listened to, muttering uneasily, feeling him not one of them. 
Never have I seen men trying so hard to understand, to decide. 
They never moveid, stood staring with a sort of terrible intent- 
ness at the speaker, their brows wrinkled with the effort of 
thought, sweat standing out on their foreheads; great giants 
of men with the innocent clear eyes of children and the faces 
of epic warriors. . . . 

Now a Bolshevik was speaking, one of their own men, vio- 
lently, full of hate. They liked him no more than the other. 
It was not their mood. For the moment they were lifted out 
of the ordinary run of common thoughts, thinking in terms of 
Russia, of Socialism, the world, as if it depended on them 
whether the Revolution were to live or die. . . . 

Speaker succeeded speaker, debating amid tense silence, 
roars of approval, or anger: should we come out or not? 
Khanjunov returned, persuasive and sympathetic. But wasn^t 
he an officer, and an oboronotz, however much he talked of 
peace? Then a workman from Vasili Ostrov, but him they 
greeted with, "And are you going to give us peace, working- 
man?" "Near us some men, many of them officers, formed a 
sort of claque to cheer the advocates of Neutrality. TTiey 
kept shouting, "Khanjunov! Khanjunov!" and whistled in- 
sultingly when the Bolsheviki tried to speak. 

Suddenly the committeemen and officers on top of the auto- 
mobile began to discuss something with great heat and much 
gesticulation. The audience shouted to know what was the 
matter, and all the great mass tossed and stirred. A soldier, 


held back by one of the officers, wrenched himself loose and 
held up his hand. 

"Comrades!" he cried, "Comrade Krylenko is here and 
wants to speak to us." An outburst of cheers, whistlings, yells 
of **Prosim! Prosim! Doloi! Go ahead! Go ahead! 
Down with him !" in the midst of which the People's Commissar 
for Military Affairs clambered up the side of the car, helped 
by hands before and behind, pushed and puUed from below 
and above. Rising he stood for a moment, and then walked 
out on the radiator, put his hands on his hips and looked 
around smiling, a squat, short-legged figure, bare-headed, with- 
out insignia on his uniform. 

The claque near me kept up a fearful shouting, "Khan- 
junov! We want Ehanjunov! Down with him! Shut up! 
Down with the traitor!" The whole place seethed and 
roared. Then it began to move, like an avalanche bearing 
down upon us, great black-browed men forcing their way 

**Who is breaking up our meeting?" they shouted. "Who 
is whistling here?" The claquey rudely burst asunder, went 
flyingr-nor did it gather again, . . . 

**Comrade soldiers !" began Krylenko, in a voice husky with 
fatigue. "I cannot speak well to you ; I am sorry ; but I have 
not had any sleep for four nights. . • . 

"I don't need to tell you that I am a soldier. I don't need 
to tell you that I want peace. What I must say is that the 
Bolshevik party, successful in the Workers' and Soldiers' Revo- 
lution, by the help of you and of all the rest of the brave 
comrades who have hurled down forever the power of the 
blood-thirsty bourgeoisie, promised to offer peace to all the 
peoples, and that has already been done — ^to-iday !" Tumultu- 
ous applause. 

**You are asked to remain neutral — to remain neutral while 
the yu/nkers and the Death Battalions, who are never neutral^ 


shoot us down in the streets and bring back to Petrograd 
Eerenslcy — or perhaps some other of the gang. Kaledin is 
marching fnmi the Don. Kerensky is coming from the front. 
Eornilov is raising the Tekhmisi to repeat his attempt of 
August. All these Mensheviki and Socialist Revolutionaries 
who call upon you now to prevent civil war — ^how have they 
retained the power except by civil war, that civil war which 
has endured ever since last July, and in which they constantly 
stood on the side of the bourgeoisie, as they do now? 

*^How can I persuade you, if you have made up your minds? 
The question is very plain. On one side are Kerensky, Kale- 
din, Komilov, the Mensheviki, Socialist Revolutionaries, 
Cadets, Dumas, officers. . • • They tell us that their objects 
are good. On the other side are the workers, the soldiers and 
sailors, the poorest peasants. The Government is in your 
hands. You are the masters. Great Russia belongs to you. 
Will you give it back?'* 

While he spoke, he kept himself up by sheer evident effort 
of will, and as he went on the deep sincere feeling back of 
his words broke through the tired voice. At the end he tot- 
tered, almost falling; a hundred hands reached up to help 
him down, and the great dim spaces of the hall gave back the 
surf of sound that beat upon him. 

Elian junov tried to speak again, but **Vote! Vote! 
Vote!'* they cried. At length, giving in, he read the resolu- 
tion: that the hrwrmoviici withdraw their representative from 
the Military Revolutionary Committee, and declare their neu- 
trality in the present civil war. All those in favour should 
go to the right; those opposed, to the left. There was a 
moment of hesitation, a still expectancy, and then the crowd 
began to surge faster and faster, stumbling over one another, 
to the left, hundreds of big soldiers in a solid mass rushing 
across the dirt floor in the faint light. . . • Near us about 
iifty men were left stranded^ stubbornly in favour, and even 


as the high roof shook under the shock of victorious roarings 
they turned and rapidly walked out of the building — and, 
some of them, out of the Revolution. • • • 

Imagine this struggle being repeated in every barracks of 
the city, the district, the whole front, all Russia. Imagine 
the sleepless Krylenkos, watching the regiments, hurrying frf>m 
place to place, arguing, threatening, entreating. And then 
imagine the same in all the locals of every labour union, in the 
factories, the villages, on the battle-ships of the far-flung Rus- 
sian fleets ; think of the hundreds of thousands of Russian men 
staring up at speakers all over the vast country, workmen, 
peasants, soldiers, sailors, trying so hard to understand and 
to choose, thinking so intensely — and deciding so unanimously 
at the end. So was the Russian Revolution. • • • 

Up at Smolny the new Council of People's Commissars was 
not idle. Already the first decree was on the presses, to be 
circulated in thousands through the city streets that night, 
and shipped in bales by every train southward and east: 

In Jie name of the Government of the Russian Republic^ chosen 
by the All-Russian Congress of Soviets of Workers' and Soldiers' 
Deputies with participation of peasant deputies^ the Council of 
People's Commissars decrees: 

1. The elections for the Constituent Assembly shall take place 
at the date determined upon — November 12. 

2. All electoral commissions, organs of local self-government^ 
Soviets of Workers'^ Soldiers' and Peasants' Deputies^ and soldiers' 
organisations on the front should make every effort to assure free 
and regular elections at the date determined upon. 

In the name of the Government of the Russian Republic^ 
The Preiident of the Council of People's Commisiars, 

Vladimir Ulianov — ^Lenin. 

In the Municipal building the Duma was in full blast. A 
member of the Council of the Republic was talking as we 


came in. The Council, he said, did not consider itself dis- 
solved at all, but merely unable to continue its labours until 
it secured a new meeting^place. In the meanwhile, its Com- 
mittee of Elders had determined to enter en masse the Comr 
mittee for Salvation. . . • This, I may remark parenthet- 
ically, is the last time history mentions the Coimcil of the 
Russian Republic. . • • 

Then followed the customary string of delegates from the 
Ministries, the Vikzhely the Union of Posts and Telegraphs, 
for the hundredtii time reiterating their determination not to 
work for the Bolshevik usurpers. A ywnker who had been in 
the Winter Palace told a highly-coloured tale of the heroism of 
himself and his comrades, and disgraceful conduct of the Red 
Guards — all of which was devoutly believed. Somebody read 
aloud an account in the Socialist Revolutionary paper Narod, 
which stated that five hundred million rubles' worth of damage 
had been done in the Winter Palace, and describing in great de- 
tail the loot and breakage. 

From time to time couriers came from the telephone with 
news. The four Socialist Ministers had been released from 
prison. Krylenko had gone to Peter-Paul to tell Admiral 
Verderevsky that the Ministry of Marine was deserted, and to 
beg him, for the sake of Russia, to take charge under the 
authority of the Council of People's Commissars ; and the old 
seaman had consented. • • • Kerensky was advancing north 
from Gatchlna, the Bolshevik garrisons falling back before 
him. Smolny had issued another decree, enlarging the powers 
of the City Dumas to deal with food supplies. 

This last piece of insolence caused an outburst of fury. 
He, Lenin, the usurper, the tyrant, whose Commissars had 
seized the Municipal garage, entered the Municipal ware- 
houses, were interfering with the Supply Committees and the 
distribution of food — ^he presumed to define the limits of power 
of the free, independent, autonomous City Government! One 


member, shaking his fist, moved to cut off the food of the city 
if the Bolsheviki dared to interfere with the Supply Com- 
mittees. . . • Another, representative of the Special Supply 
Committee, reported that the food situation was very grave, 
and asked that emissaries be sent out to hasten food trains. 

Diedonenko annoimced dramatically that the garrison 
was wavering. The Semionovsky regiment had already decided 
to submit to the orders of the Socialist Revolutionary party; 
the crews of the torpedo-boats on the Neva were shaky. Seven 
members were at once appointed to continue the propa- 
ganda. • • . 

Then the old Mayor stepped into the tribune : "Comrades 
and citizens ! I have just learned that the prisoners in Peter- 
Paul are in danger. Fourteen ywrikers of the Pavlovsk school 
have been stripped and tortured by the Bolshevik guards. 
One has gone mad. They are threatening to lynch the Minis- 
ters !" There was a whirlwind of indignation and horror, which 
only grew more violent when a stocky little woman dressed in 
grey demanded the floor; and lifted up her hard, metallic voice. 
This was V^ra Slutskaj^a, veteran revolutionist and Bolshevik 
member of theUuma. 

"That is a lie and a provocation!" she said, unmoved at 
the torrent of abuse. "The Workers' and Peasants' Govern- 
ment, which has abolished the death penalty, cannot permit 
such deeds. We demand that this story be investigated, at 
once ; if there is any truth in it, the Government will take ener- 
getic measures!" 

A commission composed of members of all parties was im- 
mediately appointed, and with the Mayor, sent ' to Peter- 
Paul to investigate. As we followed them out, the Duma was 
appointing another commission to meet Kerensky — to try 
and avoid bloodshed when be entered the capitaL . . • 

It was midnight when we bluffed our way past the guards 


at the gate of the fortress, and went forward under the faint 
glimmer of rare electric lights along the side of the church 
where lie the tombs of the Tsars, beneath the slender golden 
spire and the chimes, which, for months, continueid to play Bozhe 
Tsaria Khram* every day at noon. • • • The place was de- 


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G • K P • V B 


Pass from the Demurtment of Prisons of the Soviet Government to visit freely 
all prisons of Petrograd and Cronstadt. 

Chief Bureau of Prisons 
6th of November, 19x7. 

No. 2xp 
Petrograd, Smofny 
Institute, room No. 56— 


To the representative of the American Socialist press, John Rebo, to visit all 
places of confinement in the cities of Petrograd and Cronstadt, for the purpose of 
generallv investigating the condition of the prisoners, and for thoroujgh social infor- 
mation tor the purpose of stopping the flood of newspaper lies against democracjr. 

Chief Commissar 
• Secretary 

serted; in most of the windows there were not even lights. 
Occasionally we bumped into a burly figure stumbling along 
in the dark, who answered questions with the usual, **Ya niS 

On the left loomed the low dark outline of Trubetskoi Bas- 
tion, that living grave in which so many martyrs of liberty 
• "God save the Tsar." 


had lost their lives or their reason in the days of the Tsar, 
where the Provisional Government had in turn shut up the 
Ministers of the Tsar, and now the Bolshevik!, had shut up 
the Ministers of the Provisional Government. 

A friendly sailor led us to the office of the commandant, 
in a little house near the Mint. Half a dozen Red Guards, 
sailors and soldiers were sitting around a hot room full of 
smoke, in which a samovar steamed cheerfully. They wel- 
comed us with great cordiality, offering tea. The comman- 
dant was not in ; he was escorting a commission of **8abotazh- 
nikV* (sabotageurs) from the City Duma, who insisted that the 
ywnkers were all being murdered. This seemed to amuse them 
very much. At one side of the room sat a bald-headed, dis- 
sipated-looking little man in a frock-coat and a rich fur coat, 
biting his moustache and staring around him like a cornered 
rat. He had just been arrested. Somebody said, glancing 
carelessly at him, that he was a Minister or something. . . . 
The little man didn't seem to hear it ; he was evidently terri- 
fied, although the occupants of the room showed no animosity 
whatever toward him. 

I went across and spoke to him in French. "Count Tol- 
stoy," he answered, bowing stiffly. "I do not understand why 
I was arrested. I was crossing the Troitsky Bridge^ on my 
way home when two of these — of these — ^persons held me up, 
I was a Commissar of the Provisional Government attached 
to the General Staff, but in no sense a member of the Gov- 
ernment. . • .'* 

*Xet him go," said a sailor. "He's harmless. • • •" 

"No," responded the soldier who had brought the pris- 
oner, ^^e must ask the commandant." 

"Oh, the commandant!" sneered the sailor. "What did 
you make a revolution for? To go on obeying officers?" 

A praporshtchik of the Pavlovsky regiment was telling us 
how the insurrection started. "The poVe (regiment) was on 


duty at the General Staff the night of the 6th. Some of my 
comrades and I were standing guard ; Ivan Pavlovitch and an- 
other man — ^I don't remember his name — ^well, they hid behind 
the window-curtains in the room where the Staff was having a 
meeting, and they heard a great many things. For example, 
they heard orders to bring the Gatchina ywnJcers to Petrograd 
by night, and an order for the Cossacks to be ready to march in 
the morning. • • • The principal points in the city were to be 
occupied before dawn. Then there was the business of opening 
the bridges. But when they began to talk about surrounding 
Smolny, then Ivan Pavlovitch couldn't stand it any longer. 
That minute there was a good deal of coming and going, so he 
slipped out and came down to the guard-room, leaving the 
other comrade to ](Vick up what he could. 

^^I was already suspicious that something was going on. 
Automobiles full of officers kept coming, and all the Ministers 
were there. Ivan Pavlovitch told me what he had heard. It 
was half-past two in the morning. The secretary of the regi- 
mental Committee was there, so we told him and asked what 
to do. 

"^Arrest everybody coming and goin^!' he says. So we 
began to do it. In an hour we had some officers and a couple 
of Ministers, whom we sent up to Smolny right away. But 
the Military Revolutionary Committee wasn't ready; they 
didn't know what to do ; and pretty soonl>ack came the order 
to let everybody go and not arrest anybody else. Well, we 
ran all the way to Smolny, and I guess we talked for an hour 
before they finally saw that it was war. It was five o'clock 
when we got back to the Staff, and by that time most of 
them were gone. But we got a few, and the garrison was all 
on the march. . • ." 

A Red Guard from Vasili Ostrov described in great detail 
what had happened in his district on the great day of the 
rising. "We didn't have any machine-guns over there," he 


said, laughing, ^^and we couldn't get any from Smolny. Com- 
rade Zaikind, who was a member of the Vprava (Central 
Bureau) of the Ward Duma, remembered all at once that 
there was lying in the meeting-room of the Uprava a machine- 
gun which had been captured from the Grermans. So he and 
I and another comrade went there. The Mensheviki and So- 
cialist Revolutionaries were having a meeting. Well, we opened 
the door and walked right in on them, as they sat around the 
table — ^twelve or fifteen of them, three of us. When they saw 
us they stopped talking and just stared. We walked right 
across the room, uncoupled the machine-gun ; Comrade Zalkind 
picked up one part, I the other, we put them on our shoulders 
and walked out — and not a single man said a word!" 

"Do you know how the Winter Palace was captured?" 
asked a third man, a sailor. "Along about eleven o'clock we 
found out there weren't any more ywnkers on the Neva side. 
So we broke in the doors and filtered up the different stairways 
one by one, or in little bunches. When we got to the top of 
the stairs the ywnkers held us up and took away our guns. 
Still our fellows kept coming up, little by little, until we had 
a majority. Then we turned around and took away the 
ywnkers* guns. . . ." 

Just then the commandant entered — a merry-looking young 
non-commissioned officer with his arm in a sling, and deep 
circles of sleeplessness under his eyes. His eye fell first on 
the prisoner, who at once began to explain. 

**0h, yes," interrupted the other. "You were one of the 
committee who refused to surrender the Staff Wednesday af- 
ternoon. However, we don't want you, citizen. Apologies — " 
He opened the door and waved his arm for Count Tolstoy to 
leave. Several of the others, especially the Red Guards, grum- 
bled protests, and the sailor remarked triumphantly, ^^Yotl 
There! Didn't I say so?" 

Two soldiers now engaged his attention. They had been 


I elected a committee of the fortress garrison to protest. The 


; prisoners, they said, were getting the same food as the guards, 
: when there wasn't even enough to keep a man from being hun- 
■' gry. ^^hy should the counter-revolutionists be treated so 
; wdl?'' 

. ! **We are revolutionists, comrades, not bandits,'^ answered 

uthe commandant. He turned to us. We explained that ru- 

Vnours were going about that the yunkers were being tortured, 

and the lives of the Ministers threatened. Could we perhaps 

see the prisoners, so as to be able to provfe to the world ?'* 

"No,'' said the young soldier, irritably, **I am not going 
to disturb the prisoners again. I have just been compelled 
to wake them up — they were sure we were going to massacre 
them. • . . Most of the ywnkers have been released anjrway, 
and the rest will go out to-morrow." He turned abruptly 

"Could we talk to the Duma commission, then?'^ 

The commandant, who was pouring himself a glass of tea, 
nodded. "They are still out in the hall," he said carelessly. 

Indeed they stood there just outside the door, in the feeble 
light of an oil lamp, grouped around the Mayor and talking 

"Mr. Mayor," I said, "we are American correspondents. 
Will you please tell us oflBcially the result of your investiga- 

He turned to us his face of venerable dignity, 

"There is no truth in the reports," he said slowly, "Ex- 
i \ cept for the incidents which occurred as the Ministers were 
\ \ being brought here, they have been treated with every consid- 
^eration. As for the yimkers, not one has received the slightest 
'injury. , . .'^ 

Up the Nevsky, in the empty after-midnight gloom, an in- 
terminable column of soldiers shufBed in silence — to battle with 
Kerensky. In dim back streets automobiles without lights 


flitted to and fro, and there was furtive activity in Fontanka 69 
headquarters of the Peasants' Soviet, in a certain apartment 
of a huge building on the Nevsky, and in the Injtnierny 
Zamok (School of Engineers) ; the Duma was illuminated. . . . 
In Smolny Institute the Military Revolutionary Commit- 
tee flashed baleful fire, pounding like an over-loaded dyna- 
mo* • • • 



Satueday, November 10th. . • . 

Citizens ! 

The MiUtary Revolutionary Committee declares that it will not 
tolerate any violation of revolutionary order. . . . 

Theft^ brigandage^ assaults and attempts at massacre will be 
severely punished. . • • 

Following the example of the Paris Commune^ the Committee 
will destroy without mercy any looter or instigator of dis- 
order. • . • 

Quiet lay the city. Not a hold-up, not a robbery, not even 
a drunken fight.' By night armed patrols went through the 
silent streets, and on the comers soldiers and Red Guards 
squatted around little fires, laughing and singing. In the day- 
time great crowds gathered on the sidewalks listening to in- 
terminable hot debates between students and soldiers, business 
men and workmen. 

Citizens stopped each other on the street. 

"The Cossacks are coming?** 

"No. . • /' 

**What'8 the latest?** 

"I don*t know anything. Where*s Kerensky?*^ 

"They say only eight versts from IJftrograd. • • « Is it 
true that the Bolsheviki have fled to the battleship AvroraV* 

"TRiey say so. . • .** 


Only the walls screamed^ and the few newspapers ; denuncia- 
tion, appeal, decree. . . . 

An enormous poster carried the hysterical manifesto of the 
Executive Committee of the Peasants' Soviets : 

. . • They (the Bolsheviki) dare to say that they are supported 
by the Soviets of Peasants' Deputies, and that they are speaking on 
behalf of the Soviets of Peasants' Deputies. • . . 

Let all working-class Russia know that this is a lie, and that 


with indignation all participation of the organised peasantry in this 
criminal violation of the will of the working-classes. . • • 

From the Soldier Section of the Socialist Revolutionary 
party : 

The insane attempt of the Bolsheviki is on the eve of collapse. 
The garrison is divided. . . . The Ministries are on strike and 
bread is getting scarcer. All factions except the few Bolsheviki 
have left the Congress. The Bolsheviki are alone. . • • 

We call upon all sane elements to group themselves around the 
Committee for Salvation of Country and Revolution, and to pre- 
pare themselves seriously to be ready at the first call of the Central 
Committee. • • • 

In a hand-bill the Council of the Republic recited its 
wrongs : 

Ceding to the force of bayonets, the Council of the Republic 
has been obliged to separate, and temporarily to interrupt its meet- 

The usurpers, with the words "Liberty and Socialism" on their 
lips, have set up a rule of arbitrary violence. They have arrested 
the members of the Provisional Government, closed the newspapers, 
seized the printing-shops. • • . This power must be considered the 
enemy of the people and the Revolution; it is necessary to do battle 
with it^ and to pull it down. • • • 


The Council of the Republic^ until the resumption of its la- 
bours, invites the citizens of the Russian Republic to group them- 
selves around the . . . local Committees for Salvation of Country 
and Revolution, which are organising the overthrow of the Bolshe- 
viki and the creation of a Government capable of leading the 
country to the Constituent Assembly. 

Dielo Naroda said : 

A revolution is a rising of all the people. . . • But here what 
have we? Nothing but a handful of poor fools deceived by Lenin 
and Trotzky. . . . Their decrees and their appeals will simply add 
to the museum of historical curiosities. . • . 

And Narodnoye iStotw( People's Word — Populist Socialist) : 

"Workers' and Peasants' Government?" That is only a pipe- 
dream; nobody, either in Russia or in the countries of our Allies, 
will recognise this "Government" — or even in the enemy coun- 

• • • 

The bourgeois press had temporarily disappeared. • . • 

Pravda had an account of the first meeting of the new 
Tsay-ee-kah, now the parliament of the Russian Soviet Repub- 
lic. Miliutin, Commissar of Agriculture, remarked that the 
Peasants' Executive Committee had called an All-Russian 
Peasant Congress for December 13th. 

"But we cannot wait," he said. "We must have the back- 
ing of the peasants. I propose that tee call the Congress of 
Peasants, and do it immediately. . . ." The Left Socialist 
Revolutionaries agreed. An Appeal to the Peasants of Rus- 
sia was hastily drafted, and a committee of five elected to carry 
out the project. 

The question of detailed plans for distributing the land, 
and the question of Workers* Control of Industry, were post- 
poned until the experts working on them should submit a re 


Three decrees^ were read and approved: first, Lenin'd 
"General Rules For the Press," ordering the suppression of aU 
newspapers inciting to resistance and disobedience to the new 
Government, inciting to criminal acts, or deliberately pervert- 
ing the news ; the Decree of Moratorium for House-rents ; anid 
the Decree Establishing a Workers' Militia. Also orders, one 
giving the Municipal Duma power to requisition empty apart- 
ments and houses, the other directing the unloading of freight- 
cars in the railroad terminals, to hasten the distribution of 
necessities and to free the badly-needed rolling-stock. . . . 

Two hours later the Executive Committee of the Peasants' 
Soviets was sending broadcast over Russia the following tele- 

The arbitrary organisation of the Bolsheviki, which is called 
"Bureau of Organisation for the National Congress of Peasants^" 
is inviting all the Peasants' Soviets to send delegates to the Congress 
at Petrograd. . • . 

The Executive Committee of the Soviets of Peasants' Deputies 
declares that it considers, now as well as before, that it would be 
dangerous to take away from the provinces at this moment the 
forces necessary to prepare for elections to the Constituent Assem- 
bly, which is the only salvation of the working-class and the coun- 
try. We confirm the date of the Congress of Peasants, Decem- 
ber ISth. 

At the Duma all was excitement, officers coming and going, 
the Mayor in conference with the leaders of the Committee 
for Salvation. A Councillor ran in with a copy of Kerensky's 
proclamation, dropped by hundreds from an aeroplane low- 
flying down the Nevsky, which threatened terrible vengeance 
on all who did not submit, and ordered soldiers to lay down 
their arms and assemble immediately in Mars Field. 

The Minister-President had taken Tsarskoye Selo, we were 

* References in this chapter refer to the Appendix to Chapter VII. See 
page 341. 


told, and was already in the Petrograd campagna, five miles 
away. He would enter the city to-morrow — in a few hoiirB. 
The Soviet troops in contact with his Cossacks were said to 
be going over to the Provisional Grovemment. Tchemov was 
somewhere in between, trying to organise the Neutral'' troops 
into a force to halt the civO war. 

In the city the garrison regiments were leaving the Bolshe- 
vild, they said. Smolny was already abandoned. • • • All 
the Governmental machinery had stopped functioning. The 
employees of the State Bank had refused to work under Com- 
missars from Smolny, refused to pay out money to them. 
All the private banks were closed. The Ministries were on 
strike. Even now a committee from the Duma was making 
the rounds of business houses, collecting a fund^ to pay the 
salaries of the strikers. • • • 

Trotzky had gone to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and 
ordered the clerks to translate the Decree on Peace into 
foreign languages ; six hundred functionaries had hurled their 
resignations in his face. . . • Shliapnikov, Commissar of La- 
bour, had commanded all the employees of his Ministry to return 
to their places within twenty-four hours, or lose their places and 
their pension-rights; only the door-servants had responded. 
. . • Some of the branches of the Special Food Supply Com- 
mittee had suspended work rather than submit to the Bolshe- 
viki. • • • In spite of lavish promises of high wages and bet- 
ter conditions, the operators at the Teljephone Exdiange 
would not connect Soviet headquarters. . • • 

The Socialist Revolutionary Party had voted to expel all 
members who had remained in the Congress of Soviets, and 
all who were taking part in the insurrection. ... 

News from the provinces. Moghilev had declared against 
the Bolsheviki. At Kiev the Cossacks had overthrown the 
Soviets and arrested all the insurrectionary leaders. T^e So- 
viet and garrison of Luga, thirty thousand strong, affirmed 



its loyalty ta the Provisional Government, and appealed to all 
Russia to rally around it. Kaledin had dispersed all Soviets 
and Unions in the Don Basin, and his forces were moving 
north* • • • 

Said a representative of the Railway Workers : "Yester- 
day we sent a telegram all over Russia demanding that war 
-between the political parties cease at once, and insisting 
on the formation of a coalition Socialist Government. Other- 
wise we shall call a strike to-morrow night. ... In the morn- 
ing there will be a meeting of all factions to consider the ques- 
tion. The Bolsheviki seem anxious for an agreement. • • •" 

**If they last that long!*' laughed the City Engineer, a 
stout, ruddy man. • • • 

As we came up to Smolny — ^not abandoned, but busier 
than ever, throngs of workers and soldiers running in and out, 
and doubled guards everywhere — ^we met the reporters for 
the bourgeois and ^^oderate" Socialist papers. 

**Threw us out!'* cried one, from Volia Naroda. "Bonch- 
Bruevitch came down to the Press Bureau and told qs to leave ! 
Said we were spies!" They all began to talk at once: "In- 
sult! Outrage! Freedom of the press!" 

In the lobby were great tables heaped with stacks of ap- 
peals, proclamations and orders of the Military Revolution- 
ary Conmiittee. Workmen and soldiers staggered past^ carry- 
ing them to waiting automobiles. 

One began: 

TO THE pillory! 

In this tragic moment through which the Russian masses are 
living, the Mensheviki and their followers and the Right Socialist 
Revolutionaries have betrayed the working-class. They have en- 
listed on the side of Kornilov, Kerensky and Savinkov. . . . 

They are printing orders of the traitor Kerensky and creating 
a panic in the city, spreading the most ridiculous rumours of 
mythical victories by that renegade. • • . 


Citizens! Don't believe these false rumours. No power can 
defeat the People's Revolution. . . . Premier Kerensky and his 
followers await speedy and well-deserved punishment. • . • 

We are putting them in the Pillory. We are abandoning them 
to the enmity of all workers, soldiers, sailors and peasants, on whom 
they are trying to rivet the ancient chains. They will never be 
able to wash from their bodies the stain of the people's hatred 
and contempt. 

Shame and curses to the traitors of the People! • • • 

The Military Revolutionary Committee had moved into 
larger quarters, room 17 on the top floor. Red Guards were 
at the door. Inside, the narrow space in front of the railing 
was crowded with well-dressed persons, outwardly respectful 
but inwardly full of murder — ^bourgeois who wanted permits 
for their automobiles, or passports to leave the city, among 
them many foreigners. . . . Bill Shatov and reters were on 
duty. They suspended all other business to read us the latest 

The One Hundred Seventy-ninth Reserve Regiment offers its 
unanimous support. Five thousand stevedores at the Putilov 
wharves greet the new Government. Central Committee of the 
Trade Unions — enthusiastic support. The garrison and 
squadron at Reval elect Military Revolutionary Committees to 
cooperate, and despatch troops. Military Revolutionary Com- 
mittees control in Pskov and Minsk. Greetings from the Soviets 
of Tsaritzin, Rovensky-on-Don, Tchemogorsk, Sevastopol. 
. . . The Finland Division, the new Committees of the 
Fifth and Twelfth Armies, offer allegiance. . . . 

From Moscow the news is uncertain. Troops of the Mili- 
tary Revolutionary Committee occupy the strategic points of 
the city; two companies on duty in the Kremlin have gone 
over to the Soviets, but the Arsenal is in the hands of Colonel 
Diabtsev and his ytmkers. The Military Revolutionary Commit- 


tee demanded arms for the workers, and Riabtsev parleyed with 
them until this morning, when suddenly he sent an ultimatum to 
the Committee, ordering Soviet troops to surrender and the 
Committee to disband. Fighting has begun. . . . 

In Petrograd the Staff submitted to Smolny's Commissars 
at once. The Tsentroflot, infusing, was stormed by Dybenko 
and a company of Cronstadt sailors, and a new Tsentroflot set 
up, supported by the Baltic 'and the Black Sea battleships. . • . 

But beneath all the breezy assurance there was a chill pre- 
monition, a feeling of uneasiness in the air. Kerensky's Cos- 
sacks were coming fast; they had artillery. Skripnik, Sec- 
retary of the Factory-Shop Committees, his face drawn and 
yellow, assured me that there was a whole army corps of them, 
but he added, fiercely, **They'll never take us aJive !" Petrov- 
sky laughed weariedly, "To-morrow maybe we'll get a sleep — 
a long one. . . ." Lozovsky, with his emaciated, red-bearded 
face, s£lid, ^^What chance have we? All alone. • • . A mob 
against trained soldiers!" 

South and south-west the Soviets had fled before Kerensky,^ 
and the garrisons of Gatchina, Pavlovsk, Tsarskoye Selo were 
divided — half voting to remain neutral, the rest, without offi- 
cers, falling back on the capital in the wildest disorder. 

In the halls they were pasting up bulletins: 


To be communicated to all Commanders of Staffs, Commanders 
m Chiefs Commanders^ everywhere and to aU, all^ all. 

The ex-Minister Kerensky has sent a deliberately false tele- 
gram to every one everywhere to the effect that the troops 
of revolutionary Petrograd have voluntarily surrendered their arms 
and joined the armies of the former Government, the Government 
of Treason^ and that the soldiers have been ordered by the Military 
Revolutionary Committee to retreat. The troops of a free people 
do not retreat nor do they surrender. 


Our troops have left Gatchina in order to avoid bloodahed 
between themselves and their mistaken brother-Cossacks^ and in 
order to take a more convenient position^ which is at present ao 
strong that if Kerensky and his companions in arms should even 
increase their forces ten times^ still there would be no cause for 
anxiety. The spirit of our troops is excellent. 

In Petrograd all is quiet. 

Chief of the Defence of Petrograd and the Petrograd Dittrict, 

Lieutenant-Colonel Murayioy. 

As we left the Military Revolutionary Committee AntonoT 
entered, a paper in his hand, looking like a corpse. 
^^Send this," said he. 




The Komilovist bands of Kerensky are threatening the ap- 
proaches to the capital. All the necessary orders have been given 
to crush mercilessly the counter-revolutionary attempt against the 
people and its conquests. 

The Army and the Red Guard of the Revolution are in need 
of the immediate support of the workers. 


1. To move out the greatest possible number of workers for 
the digging of trenches^ the erection of barricades and reinforcing 
of wire entanglements. 

2, Wherever it shall be necessary for this purpose to stop work 
at the factories this shall be done immediately. 

8, All common and barbed wire available must be assembled^ 
and also all implements for the digging of trenches and the erection 
of barricades. 

4. All available arms must be taken. 

5. The strictest discipline is to be observed^ and byxrt onb 



Chatrman of the Petrograd Soviet of Workers* and Soldiers* 


People's Commissar Leon Trotzky. 

Chairman of the Military Revolutionary Committee, 

Commander in Chief Podvoisky. 

As we came out into the dark and gloomy day all around 
the grey horizon factory whistles were blowing, a hoarse and 
nervous sound, full of foreboding. By tens of thousands the 
working-people poured out, men and women ; by tens of thou- 
sands the humming slums belched out their dun and miserable 
hordes. Red Petrograd was in danger! Cossacks ! South and 
southwest they poured through the shabby streets toward the 
Moskovsky Gate, men, women and children, with rifles, picks, 
spades, rolls of wire, cartridge-belts over their working clothes. 
. • • Such an immense, spontaneous outpouring of a city never 
was seen ! They rolled along torrent-like, companies of soldiers 
borne with them, guns, motor-trucks, wagons — the revolution- 
ary proletariat defending with its breast the capital of the 
Workers' and Peasants' Republic ! 

Before the door of Smolny was an automobile. A slight 
man with thick glasses magnifying his red^rimmed eyes, his 
speech a painful effort, stood leaning against a mud-guard 
with his hands in the pockets of a shabby raglan. A great 
bearded sailor, with the clear eyes of youth, prowled restlessly 
about, absently toying with an enormous blue-steel revolver, 
which never left his hand. These were Antonov and Dybenko. 

Some soldiers were trying to fasten two military bicycles 
on the running-board. The chauffeur violently protested ; the 
enamel would get scratched, he said. True, he was a Bolshe- 
vik, and the automobile was commandeered from a bourgeois ; 
true, the bicycles were for the use of orderlies. But the chauf- 


four's professianal pride was revolted. ... So the bicycles 
were abandoned. . . . 

The People's Commissars for War and Marine were going 
to inspect the revolutionary front — ^wherever that was. Could 
we go with them? Certainly not. The automobile only held 
five — the two Commissars, two orderlies and the chauflFeur. 
However, a Russian acquaintance of mine, whom I will call 
Trusishka, calmly got in and sat down, nor could any argument 
dislodge him. . . . 

I see no reason to doubt Trusishka's story of the journey. 
As they went doMm the Suvorovsky Prospect some one men- 
tioned food. They might be out three or four days, in a coun- 
try indifi^erently well provisioned. They stopped the car. 
Money? The Commissar of War looked through his pockets — 
he hadn't a kopek. The Commissar of Marine was broke. So 
was the chauffeur. Trusishka bought the provisions. • • • 

Just as they turned into the Nevsky a tire blew out. 

"What shall we do?" asked Antonov. 

^'Commandeer another machine !" suggested Dybenko, wav- 
ing his revolver. Antonov stood in the middle of the street 
and signalled a passing machine, driven by a soldier. 

"I want that machine," said Antonov. 

**You won't g^it it," responded the soldier. 

*TDo you know who I am?" Antonov produced a paper 
upon which was written that he had been appointed Command- 
er-in-Chief of all the armies of the Russian Republic, and that 
every one should obey him without question. 

"I don't care if you're the devil himself,'* said the soldier, 
ihotly. "This machine belongs to the fHrst Machine-Gun 
Regiment, and we're carrying ammunition in it, and you can't 
have it. . . ." 

The difficulty, however, was solved by the appearance of 
an old battered taxi-cab, flying the Italian flag. (In time of 
trouble private cars were registered in the name of foreign 




consulates, so as to be safe from requisition.) From the in- 
terior of this was dislodged a fat citizen in an expensive fur 
coat, and the party continued on its way. 

Arrived at Narvskaya Zastava, about ten miles out, An- 
tonov called for the commandant of the Red Guard. He was 
led to the edge of the toMm, where some few hundred workmen 
had dug trenches and were waiting for the Cossacks. 

^Everything all right here, comrade?" asked Antonov. 
^Everything perfect, comrade," answered the commandant. 
"The troops are in excellent spirits. • . . Only one thing — 
we have no ammunition. . . ." 

**In Smolny there are two billion rounds," Antonov told 
him. *'I will give you an order." He felt in his pockets. 
"Has any one a piece of paper?" 

Dybenko had none — ^nor the couriers. Trusishka had to 
offer his note-book. ... 

*TDevil ! I have no pencil !" cried Antonov. "Who's got a 
pencil?" Needless to say, Trusishka had the only pencil in 
the crowd. • • • 

We who were left behind made for the Tsarskoye Selo sta- 
tion. Up the Nevsky, as we passed, Red Guards were march- 
ing, all armed, some with bayonets and some without. The 
early twilight of winter was falling. Heads up they tramped 
in the chill mud, irregular lines .of four, without music, with- 
out drums. A red flag crudely lettered in gold, "Peace! 
Liand!" floated over them. They were very young. The 
expression on their faces was that of men who know they are 
going to die. . . . Half- fearful, half-contemptuous, the 
crowds on the sidewalk watched them pass, in hateful 
silence. • . • 

At the railroad station nobody knew just where Kerensky 
was, or where the front lay. Trains went no further, how- 
ever, than Tsarskoye. • • • 

^auHurrtiiiiul Knutt 


2« 0Kn6] 

sm w* 


AuepiucanoKOft OouIaJTi — A«ii(Wpa*lH Btnej^tl •>ia— 

BaeifH» — rauojtB'tlOMiiuH EoiijiT«Ti> n«*ep 'Vpruv^r. 
0«Bi)T(i. la'.a'iHX'b I CurAaTonn. J|«Bf«aT«in npea--^- 
aramm-b m^ npaM 4bo D«viaro npoftwia m .-ftM^ 

AiiepEKaxcKtai TaaaptmeR .iniTepa&.>tl»BiUHaTs^fV tfi> 
00/UTtlUIII oil jo«otii> 

"' -^-Ltt-ut^ 

This UBS mi imed upon tbe recommHidatlon of Trotdr three dajs aftar the 
Boliherik Revolution. It givci me the rigbt of free tuTel to the Nortbera front— and 
an added note on the back extendi the pernigson to ill frtmti. It will be Doaccd 
that the text speakaof the FeMnfrur;. instead of the Fnrofrail Soriet; it ma the fuWdo 

The pieient certificate is given to Cbe representative of the American Sodil 
DemocracT, the internationalin comrade John Rikd. The Hilitafy BdrDlntianaiT 
Committee of the Felershurg Soviet of Woikers' and Soldiere' Depntiea gives him the 
right of free travel through the entity Northern front, for the puipoK of reportus 
to our American comradea-internationaliBts concerninK evcnti in Rnau. 

For the 


Our car was full of commuters and country people going 
home, laden with bundles and evening papers. The talk was 
all of the Bolshevik rising. Outside of that, however, one 
would never have realised that civil war was rending mighty 
Russia in two, and that the train was headed into the zone of 
battle. Through the window we could see, in the swiftly-deep- 
ening darkness, masses of soldiers going along the muddy road 
toward the city, flinging out their, arms in argument. A 
freight-train, swarming with troops and lit up by huge bon- 
fires, was halted on a siding. That was alL Back along the 
flat horizon the glow of the city's lights faded down the night. 
A street-car crawled distantly along a far-flung suburb. • . . 

Tsarskoye Selo station was quiet, but knots of soldiers 
stood here and there talking in low tones and looking uneasily 
down the empty track in the direction of Gatchina. I asked 
some of them which side they were on. "Well," said one, "we 
don't exactly know the rights of the matter. . . . There is 
no doubt that Kerensky is a provocator, but we do not consider 
it right for Russian men to be shooting Russian men." 

In the station commandant's office was a big, jovial, bearded 
common soldier, wearing the red arm-band of a regimental 
committee. Our credentials from Smolny commanded immedi- 
ate respect. He was plainly for the Soviets, but bewildered. 

"The Red Guards were here two hours ago, but they went 
away again. A Commissar came this morning, but he returned 
to Petrograd when the Cossacks arrived." 

"The Cossacks are here then?" 

He nodded, gloomily. "There has been a battle. The Cos- 
sacks came early in the morning. They captured two or three 
hundred of our men, and killed about twenty-five." 

"Where are the Cossacks?" 

"Well, they didn't get this far. I don't know just tehere 
they are. Off that way. . • ." He waved his arm vaguely 


We had dinner — an excellent dinner, better and cheaper 
than could be got in Petrograd — ^in the station rei^taurant. 
Nearby sat a French officer who had just come on foot from 
Gatcfaina. All was quiet there, he said. Eerensky held the 
town. ^Ah, these Russians," he went on, ^^they are original! 
What a civil war! Everything except the fighting!" 

• We sallied out into the town. Just at the door of the 
station stood two soldiers with rifles and bayonets fixed. They 
were surrounded by about a hundred business men, Grovem- 
ment officials and students, who attacked them with passionate 
argument and epithet. The soldiers were uncomfortable and 
hurt, like children unjustly scolded. 

A tall young man with a supercilious expression, dressed 
in the uniform of a student, was leading the attack. 

**You realise, I presume," he said insolently, "that by 
taking up arms against your brothers you are making your- 
selves the tools of murderers and traitors?" 

**Now brother," answered the soldier earnestly, **you don't 
understand. There are two classes, don't you see, the prole- 
tariat and the bourgeoisie. We " 

"Oh, I know that silly talk !" broke in the student rudely. 
"A bunch of ignorant peasants like you hear somebody bawl- 
ing a few catch-words. You don't understand what thefy 
mean. You just echo them like a lot of parrots." The crowd 
laughed. "I'm a Marxian student. And I tell you that this 
isn't Socialism you are fighting for. It's just plain pro-Ger- 
man anarchy!" 

"Oh, yes, I know," answered the soldier, with sweat drip- 
ping from his brow. "You are an educated man, that is easy 
to see, and I am only a simple man. But it seems to me ^ 

"I suppose," interrupted the other contemptuously, **that 
you believe Lenin is a real friend of the proletariat?" 

^TTes, I do," answered the soldier, suffering. 

"Well, my friend, do you know that Lenin was sent through 


Grermany in a closed car? Do you know that Lenin took money 
from the Grermans?" 

"Well, I don't know much about that," answered the sol- 
dier stubbornly, "but it seems to me that what he says is 
what I want to hear, and all the simple men like me. Now there 
are two classes, the bourgeoisie and the proletariat " 

"You are a fool! Why, my friend, I spent two years in 
Schliisselburg for revolutionary activity, when you wer^ still 
shooting down revolutionists and singing ^God Save the Tsar!* 
My name is Vasili Georgevitch Panyin. Didn't you ever hear 
of me?" 

"Pm sorry to say I never did," answered the soldier with 
humility. "But then, I am not an educated man. You are 
probably a great hero." 

"I am," said the student with conviction. "And I am op- 
posed to the Bolsheviki, who are destroying our Russia, our 
free Revolution. Now how do you account for that?" 

The soldier scratched his head. "I can't account for it 
at all," he said, grimacing with the pain of his intellectual 
processes. "To me it seems perfectly simple — ^but then, I'm 
not well educated. It seems like there are only two classes, the 
proletariat and the bourgeoisie ^" 

"There you go again with your silly formula!" cried the 

" only two classes," went on the soldier, doggedly. 

"And whoever isn't on one side is on the other . . ." 

We wandered on up the street, where the lights were few and 
far between, and where people rarely passed. A threatening 
silence hung over the place — as of a sort of purgatory be- 
tween heaven and hell, a political No Man's Land. Only the 
barber shops were all brilliantly lighted and crowded, and a 
line formed at the doors of the public bath; for it was Sat- 
urday night, when all Russia bathes afld perfumes itself. 
I haven't the slightest doubt that Soviet troops and Cos- 


sacks mingled in the places where these ceremonies were per- 

The nearer we came to the Imperial Park, the more de- 
serted were the streets. A frightened priest pointed out the 
headquarters of. the Soviet, and hurried on. It was in the 
wing of one of the Grand Ducal palaces, fronting the Park. 
The windows were dark, the door locked. A soldier, lounging 
about with his hands in the top of his trousers, looked us up 
and down with gloomy suspicion. **The Soviet went away two 
days ago," said he. **Where?'* A shrug. **NiS znaytu. I 
don't know.'' 

A little further along was a large building, brightly illumi- 
nated. From within came a sound of hammering. While we 
were hesitating, a soldier and a sailor came down the street, 
hand in hand. I showed them my pass from Smolny. ^^Are 
you for the Soviets?" I asked. They did not answer, but 
looked at each other in a frightened way. 

^^What is going on in there?" asked the sailor, pointing 
to the building. 

"I don't know." 

Timidly the soldier put out his hand and opened the door 
a crack. Inside a great hall hung with bunting and ever- 
greens, rows of chairs, a stage being built. 

A stout woman with a hammer in her hand and her mouth 
full of tacks came out. "What do you want?" she asked. 

"Is there a performance to-night?" said the sailor, ner- 

"There will be private theatricals Sunday night," she an- 
swered severely. "Go away." 

We tried to engage the soldier and sailor in conversation, 
but they seemed frightened and unhappy, and drew off into 
the darkness. 

We strolled toward the Imperial Palaces, along the edge 
of the vast, dark gardens, their fantastic pavilions and oma- 


mental bridges looming uncertainly in the night, and soft water 
splashing from the fountains. At one place, where a ridicu- 
lous iron swan spat unceasingly from an artificial grotto, we 
were suddenly aware of observation, and looked up to encoun- 
ter the sullen, suspicious gaze of half a dozen gigantic armed 
soldiers, who stared moodily down from a grassy terrace. I 
climbed up to them. **Who are you?" I asked. 

*'We are the guard," answered one. They all looked very 
depressed, as undoubtedly they were, from weeks and weeks 
of all-day all-night argument and debate. 

"Are you Kerensky's troops, or the Soviets'?" 

There was silence for a moment, as they looked uneasily 
at each other. Then, **We are neutral," said he. 

We went on through the arch of the huge Ekaterina Pal- 
ace, into the Palace enclosure itself, asking for headquarters. 
A sentry outside a door in a curving white wing of the Palace 
said that the commandant was inside. 

In a graceful, white, Georgian room, divided into unequal 
parts by a two-sided fire-place, a group of officers stood anx- 
iously talking. They were pale and distracted, and evidently 
hadn't slept. To one, an oldish man with a white beard, his 
uniform studded with decorations, who was pointed out as the 
Colonel, we showed our Bolshevik papers. 

He seemed surprised. "How did you get here without 
being killed?" he asked politely. "It is very dangerous in the 
streets just now. Political passion is running very high in 
Tsarskoye Selo. There was a battle this morning, and there 
will be another to-morrow morning. Kerensky is to enter the 
town at eight o'clock." 

**Where are the Cossacks?" 

"About a mile over that way." He waved his arm. 

**And you will defend the city against them?" 

"Oh dear no." He smiled. **We are holding the city for 
Kerensky." Our hearts sank, for our passes stated that we 


were revolutionary to the core. The Colonel cleared his throat. 
"About those passes of yours," he went on. "Your lives will 
be in danger if you are captured. Therefore, if you want to 
see the battle, I will give you an order for rooms in the offi- 
cers' hotel, and if you will come back here at seven o'clock in 
the morning, I will give you new passes." 

"So you are for Kerensky?" we said. 

*Well, not exactly for Kerensky." The Colonel hesitated. 
**You see, most of the soldiers in the garrison are Bolsheviki, 
and to-day, after the battle, they all went away in the direc- 
tion of Petrograd, taking the artillery with them. You might 
say that none of the soldiers are for Kerensky; but some of 
them just don't want to fight at all. The officers have almost 
all gone over to Kerensky's forces, or simply gone away. 
We are — ahem — ^in a most difficult position, as you see. . . ." 

We did not believe that there would be any battle. . . . 
The Colonel courteously sent his orderly to escort us to the 
railroad station. He was from the South, born of French immi- 
grant parents in Bessarabia. "Ah," he kept saying, "it is not 
the danger or the hardships I mind, but being so long, three 
years, away from my mother. . . ." 

Looking out of the window of the train as we sped through 
the cold dark toward Petrograd, I caught glimpses of clumps 
of soldiers gesticulating in the light of fires, and of clusters 
of armoured cars halted together at cross-roads, the chauffeurs 
hanging out of the turrets and shouting to each other. . . . 

All the troubled night over the bleak flats leaderless bands 
of soldiers and Red Guards wandered, clashing and confused, 
and the Commissars of the Military Revolutionary Committee 
hurried from one group to another, trying to organise a de^ 
fence. • • • 

Back in town excited throngs were moving in tides up and 
down the Nevsky. Something was in the air. From the War- 


saw Railway station could be heard far-off cannonade. In the 
yunker schools there was feverish activity. Duma members 
went from barracks to barracks, arguing and pleading, nar- , 
rating fearful stories of Bolshevik violence — ^massacre of the' 
ytmkers in the Winter Palace, rape of the women soldiers, thef 
shooting of the girl before the Duma, the murder of Prince 
Tumanov. ... In the Alexander Hall of the Duma building 
the Committee for Salvation was in special session; Commis- 
sars came and went, running. . • . All the journalists expelled^ 
from Smolny were there, in high spirits. They did not believe 
our report of conditions in Tsarskoye, Why, everybody knew 
that Tsarskoye was in Eerensky's hands, and that the Cos- 
sacks were now at Pulkovo. A committee was being elected 
to meet Kerensky at the railway station in the morning. • • • 
One confided to me, in strictest secrecy, that the coimter- 
revolution would begin at midnight. He showed me two proc- 
lamations, one signed by Gotz and Polkovnikov, ordering the 
ywnker schools, soldier convalescents in the hospitals, and the 
Knights of St. Greorge to mobilise on a war footing and wait 
for orders from the Committee for Salvation; the other from 
the Committee for Salvation itself, which read as follows : 

To the Population of Petrograd! 

Comrades^ workers^ soldiers and citizens of revolutionary Petro- 

The Bolsheviki^ while appealing for peace at the fronts are in- 
citing to civil war in the rear. ^ 

Do not listen to their provocatory appeals! 

Do not dig trenches! 

Down with the traitorous barricades! 

Lay down your arms! 

Soldiers^ return to your barracks! 

The war 'begun in Petrograd — is the death of the Revolution! 

In the name of liberty^ land^ and peace^ unite around the Com- 
mittee for Salvation of Country and Revolution! 


As we left the Duma a campany of Red Guards, stem-faced 
and desperate, came marching down the dark, deserted street 
with a dozen prisoners — ^members of the local branch of the 
Council of Cossacks, caught red-handed plotting counter-revo- 
lution 'in their headquarters. . . • 

A soldier, accompanied by a small boy with a pail of pafite, 
was sticking up great flaring notices: 

By virtue of the present^ the city of Petrograd and its suburbs 
are declared in a state of siege. All assemblies or meetings in 
the streets^ and generally in the open air^ are forbidden until further 

N. PoDVoiSKT^ President of the Military 
Revolutionary Conunittee. 

As we went home the air was full of confused sound — auto- 
mobile horns, shouts, distant shots. The city stirred uneasily, 

In the small hours of the morning a company of ywnkersj 
disguised as soldiers of the Semionovsky Regiment, presented 
themselves at the Telephone Exchange just before the hour 
of changing guard. They had the Bolshevik password, and 
took charge without arousing suspicion. A few minutes later 
Antonov appeared, making a round of inspection. Him they 
captured and locked in a small room. When the relief came 
jt was met by a blast of rifle-fire, several being killed. 

Counter-revolution had begun* • • • 



Next morning, Sunday the 11th, the Cossacks entered 
Tsarskoye Selo, Kerensky ^ himself riding a white horse and all 
the church-bells clamouring. From the top of a little hill 
outside the town could be seen the golden spires and many- 
coloured cupolas, the sprawling grey immensity of the capital 
spread along the dreary plain, and beyond, the steely Gulf 
of Finland. 

There was no battle. But Kerensky made d.£aj;al_blunder.; 
At seven in the morning he sent word to the Second Tsarskoyel 
Selo Rifles to lay down their arms. The soldiers replied that! 
they would remain neutral, but would not disarm. Kerensky \ 
gave them ten minutes in which to obey. This angered the • 
soldiers ; for eight months they had been governing themselves 
by committee, and this smacked of the old regime. ... A 
few minutes later Cossack artillery opened fire on the barracks, 
killing eight men. From that moment there were no more 
**neutral" soldiers in Tsarskoye. . . . 

Petrograd woke to bursts of rifle-fire, and the tramping 
thunder of men marching. Under the high dark sky a cold 
wind smelt of snow. At dawn the Military Hotel and the 
Telegraph Agency had been taken by large forces of ywnkers, 
and bloodily recaptured. The Telephone Station was besieged 
by sailors, who lay behind barricades of barrels, boxes and tin 

^ References in this chapter refer to the Appendix to Chapter VIII. See 
page 343. 



sheets in the middle of the Morskaya, or sheltered themselves 
at the comer of the Gorokhovaya and of St. Isaac's Square, 
shooting at anything that moved. Occasionally an automo- 
bile passed in and out, flying the Red Cross flag. The sailors 
let it pass. • • • 

Albert RhjflJPyjUinmB wftft in the Telephone Exchange. He 
went out with the Red Cross automobile, which was ostensibly 
full of wounded. After circulating about the city, the car 
went by devious ways to the Mikhailovsky jpmker school, head- 
quarters of the counter-revolution. A French officer, in the 
court-yard, seemed to be in command. . . . By this means 
ammunition and supplies were conveyed to the Telephone Ex- 
change. Scores of these pretended ambulances acted as cou- 
riers and ammunition trains for the yvmJcers. 

Five or six armoured cars, belonging to the disbanded 
British Armoured Car Division, were in their hands. As 
Louise Bryant was going along St. Isaac's Square one came 
rolling up from the Admiralty, on its way to the Telephone 
Exchange. At the comer of the Gogolia, right in front of her, 
the engine stalled. Some sailors ambushed behind wood-piles 
began shooting. The machine-gun in the turret of the thing 
slewed around and spat a hail of buUets indiscriminately into 
the wood-piles and the crowd. In the archway where Miss 
Bryant stood seven people were shot dead, among them two 
little boys. Suddenly, with a shout, the sailors leaped up and 
mshed into the flaming open; closing around the monster, 
they thrust their bayonets into the loop-holes, again and again, 
yelling. . . The chauffeur pretended to be wounded, and they 
let him go free — ^to run to the Duma and swell the tale of 
Bolshevik atrocities. . • . Among the dead was a British offi- 
cer. ... 

Later the newspapers told of another French officer, cap- 
tured in a yunker armoured car and sent to Peter-Paul. The 
French Embassy promptly denied this, but one of the City 


Councillors told me that he himself had procured the officer's 
release from prison. . . . 

Whatever the official attitude of the Allied Embassies, 
individual French and British officers were active these days, 
even to the extent of giving advice at executive sessions of the 
Committee for Salvation. 

All day long in every quarter of the city there were skir- 
mishes between ytmkers and Red Guards, battles between ar- 
moured cars. . . . Volleys, single shots and the shrill chatter 
of machine-guns could be heard, far and near. The iron shut- 
ters- of the shops were drawn, but business still went on. Even 
the moving-picture shows, all outside lights dark, played to 
crowded houses. The street-cars ran. The telephones were all 
working; when you called Central, shooting could be plainly 
heard over the wire. . . . Smolny was cut off, but the Duma 
and the Committee for Salvation were in constant communica- 
tion with all the ywnker schools and with Kerensky at Tsars- 

At seven in the morning the Vladimir ywnker school was 
visited by a patrol of soldiers, sailors and Red Guards, who 
gave the ywnkers twenty minutes to lay down their arms. The 
ultimatum was rejected. An hour later the ywnkers got ready 
to march, but were driven back by a violent fusillade from the 
comer of the Grebetskaya and the Bolshoy Prospekt. Soviet 
troops surrounded the building and opened fire, two armoured 
cars cruising back and forth with machine guns raking it. 
The yunkers telephoned for help. The Cossacks replied that 
they dare not come, because a large body of sailors with two 
cannon commanded their barracks. The Pavlovsk school was 
surrounded. Most of the Mikhailov yunkers were fighting 
in the streets. ... 

At half-past eleven three field-pieces arrived. Another de- 
mand to surrender was met by the ywnkers shooting down two 
of the Soviet delegates under the white flag. Now began a 


real bombardment. Great holes were torn in the walls of the 
school. The ywnkers defended themselves desperately; shout- 
ing waves of Red Guards, assaulting, crumpled under the with- 
ering blast. . . • Kerensky telephoned from Tsarskoye to re- 
fuse all parley with the Military Revolutionary Committee. 

Frenzied by defeat and their heaps of dead, the Soviet 
troops opened a tornado of steel and flame against the bat- 
tered building. Their own officers could not stop the terrible 
bombardment. A Commissar from Smolny named Kirilov tried 
to halt it ; he was threatened with lynching. The Red Guards' 
blood was up. 

At half-past two the ywnkers hoisted a white flag; they 
would surrender if they were guaranteed protection. This 
was promised. With a rush and a shout thousands of soldiers 
and Red Guards poured through windows, doors and holes in 
the wall. Before it could be stopped five ywnkers were beaten 
and stabbed to death. The rest, about two hundred, were 
taken to Peter-Paul under escort, in small groups so as to 
avoid notice. On the way a mob set ui>on one party, killing 
eight more ywnkers. • . . More than a hundred Red Guards 
and soldiers had fallen. . . . 

Two hours later the Duma got a telephone message that 
the victors were marching toward the Injiniemy Zamok — the 
Engineers' school. A dozen members immediately set out to 
distribute among them armfuls of the latest proclamation of 
the Committee for Salvation. Several did not come back. 
. • . All the other schools surrendered without resistance, and 
the yvmkers were sent unharmed to Peter-Paul and Cron- 
stadt. • • • 

The Telephone Exchange held out until afternoon, when 
a Bolshevik armoured car appeared, and the sailors stormed 
the place. Shrieking, the frightened telephone girls ran to and 
fro; the ywnkers tore from their uniforms all distinguishing 
marks, and one ofi^ered Williams anythvng for the loan of his 


overcoat, as a disguise. . . . "They will massacre us! They 
will massacre usP' they cried, for many of them had given 
their word at the* Winter Palace not to take up arms against 
the People. Williams offered to mediate if Antonov were re- 
leased. This was immediately done; Antonov and Williams 
made speeches to the victorious sailors, inflamed by their many 
dead — and once more the ytmkers went free. . . . All but a 
few, who in their panic tried to flee over the roofa, or to hide 
in the attic, and were found and hurled into the street. 

Tired, bloody, triumphant, the sailors and workers 
swarmed into the switchboard room, and finding so many 
pretty girls, fell back in an embarrassed way and fumbled with 
awkward feet. N pt a girl was injured, not one jnsulted. 
Frightened, they huddled m the comers, and then, finding 
themselves safe, gave vent to their spite. "Ugh ! The dirty, 
ignorant people! The fools!" . . . The sailors and Red 
Guards were embarrassed. "Brutes ! Pigs !'* shrilled the girls, 
indignantly putting on their coats and hats. Romantic had 
been their experience passing up cartridges and dressing the 
wounds of their dashing young defenders, the yunkers, many 
of them members of noble families, fighting to restore their 
beloved Tsar! These were just common workmen, peasants, 
"Dark People." . . . 

The Commissar of the Military Revolutionary Committee, 
little Vishniak, tried to persuade the girls to remain. He waiS 
effusively polite. "You have been badly treated," he said. 
"The telephone system is controlled by the Municipal Duma. 
You are paid sixty rubles a month, and have to work ten 
hours and more. . • . From now on all that will be changed. 
The • Government intends to put the telephones under control 
of the Ministry of Posts and Telegraphs. Your wages will be 
immediately raised to one hundred and fifty rubles, and your 
working^hours reduced. As members of the working-class you 
should be happy " 



Members of the working-class indeed ! Did he mean to 
infer that there was anything in common between these — ^^these 
animals — and tisf Remain? Not if they offered a thousand 
rubles ! . . . Haughty and spiteful the girls left the place. . . . 

The employees of the building, the line-men and labourers 
— ^they stayed. But the switch-boards must be operated — ^the 
telephone was vital. • . • Only half a dozen trained operators 
were available. Volunteers were called for; a hundred re- 
sponded, sailors, soldiers, workers. The six girls scurried 
backward and forward, instructing, helping, scolding. . . . 
So, crippled, halting, but gomg, the wires slowly began to 
hum. The first thing was to connect Smolny with the barracks 
and the factories ; the second, to cut off the Duma and the yuvr 
ker schools. . . . Late in the afternoon word of it spread 
through the city, and hundreds of bourgeois called up to scream, 
**Fools ! Devils ! How long do you think you will last? Wait 
till the Cossacks come!" 

Dusk was already falling. On the almost deserted Nevsky, 
swept by a bitter wind, a crowd had gathered before the 
Kazan Cathedral, continuing the endless debate ; a few work- 
men, some soldiers and the rest shop-keepers, clerks and the 

**But Lenin won't get Germany to make peace!" cried 

A violent young soldier replied. **And whose fault is it? 
Your damn Kerensky, dirty bourgeois! To hell with Ke- 
rensky ! We don't want him ! We want Lenin. . . ." 

Outside the Duma an officer with a white arm-band was 
tearing down posters from the wall, swearing loudly. One 

To the Population of Petrograd! 

At this dangerous hour^ when the Municipal Duma ought to use 
every means to calm the population^ to assure it bread and other 
necessities^ the Right Socialist Revolutionaries and the Cadets^ for- 


getting their duty^ have turned the Duma into a counter-revolu- 
tionary meetings trying to raise part of the population against the 
rest^ so as to facilitate the victory of Komilov-Kerensky. Instead 
of doing their duty^ the Right Socialist Revolutionaries and the 
Cadets have transformed the Duma into an arena of political attack 
upon the Soviets of Workers', Soldiers' and Peasants' Deputies, 
against this revolutionary Government of peace, bread and liberty. 
Citizens of Petrograd, we, the Bolshevik Municipal Councillors 
elected by you — ^we want you to know that the Right Socialist Revo- 
lutionaries and the Cadets are engaged in counter-revolutionary 
action, have forgotten their duty, and are leading the population to 
famine, to civil war. We, elected by 188,000 votes, consider it our 
duty to bring to the attention of our constituents what is going on 
in the Duma, and declare that we disclaim all responsibility for the 
terrible but inevitable consequences. . • • 

Far away still sounded occasional shots, but the city lay 
quiet, cold, as if exhausted by the violent spasms which had 
torn it. 

In the Nicolai Hall the Duma session was coming to an 
end. Even the truculent Duma seemed a little stunned. One 
after another the Commissars reported — capture of the Tele- 
phone Exchange, street-fighting, the taking of the Vladimir 
school. . . . "The Duma,*' said Trupp, *4s on the side of the 
democracy in its struggle against arbitrary violence; but in 
any case, whichever side wins, the Duma will always be against 
lynchings and torture. . . ." 

KonovskI, Cadet, a tall old man with a cruel face: "When 
the troops of the legal Government arrive In Petrograd, they 
will shoot down these Insurgents, and that will not be lynch- 
ing!'' Protests all over the hall, even from his own party. 

Here there was doubt and depression. The counter-revor ~] 
lutlon was being put down. The Central Committee of the . 
Socialist Revolutionary party had voted lack of confidence in 
its officers; the left wing was in control; Avksentiev had re- 


signed. A courier reported that the Committee of Welcome 
sent to meet Kerensky at the railway station had been ar- 
rested. In the streets could be heard the dull rumble of dis- 
tant cannonading, south and southwest. Still Kerensky did 
not come. ... 

Only three newspapers were out — Pravda^ Dielo Naroda 
and Novat/a Zhizn. All of them devoted much space to the new 
"coalition" Government. The Socialist Revolutionary paper 
demanded a Cabinet without either Cadets or Bolsheviki. 
Gorky was hopeful; Smolny had made concessions. A purely 
Socialist Government was taking shape — all elements except 
the bourgeoisie. As for Pravda, it sneered: 

We ridicule these coalitions with political parties whose most 
prominent members are petty journalists of doubtfcd reputation; 
our "coalition" is that of the proletariat and the revolutionary Army 
with the poor peasants. . . . 

On the walls a vainglorious announcement of the Vikzheh 
threatening to strike if both sides did not compromise: 

The conquerors of these riots^ the saviours of the wreck of 
our country^ these will be neither the Bolsheviki^ nor the Committee 
for Salvation^ nor the troops of Kerensky — ^but we^ the Union of 
Railwaymen. . . • 

Red Guards are incapable of handling a complicated busi- 
ness like the railways; as for the Provisional Grovemment, it 
has shown itself incapable of holding the power. . • • 

We refuse to lend our services to any party which does not act 
by authority of ... a Government based on the confidence of all 
the democracy. . . . 

Smolny thrilled with the boundless vitality of inexhaus- 
tible humanity in action. 


In Trade Union headquarters Lozovsky introduced me to 
a delegate of the Railway Workers of the Nicolai line, who 
said that the men were holding huge mass-meetings, condemn- 
ing the action of their leaders. 

"All power to the Soviets!" he cried, pounding on the 
table. "The ohorontsi in the Central Committee are playing 
Komilov's game. They tried to send a mission to the Stavka, 
but we arrested them at Minsk. • . . Our branch has de- 
manded an All-Russian Convention, and they refuse to call 
it '* 

All* • • • 

The same situation as in the Soviets, the Army Commit- 
tees. One after another the various democratic organisations, 
all over Russia, were cracking and changing. The Coopera- 
tives were torn by internal struggles; the meetings of the 
Pleasants' Executive broke up in stormy wrangling; even 
among the Cossacks there was trouble. . . . 

On the top floor the Military Revolutionary Committee 
was in full blast, striking and slacking not. Men went in, 
fresh and vigorous; night and day and night and day they 
threw themselves into the terrible machine; and came out 
limp, blind with fatigue, hoarse and filthy, to fall on the floor 
and sleep. . . . The Committee for Salvation had been out- 
lawed. Great piles of new proclamations ^ littered the floor : 

. • . The conspirators^ who have no support among the garrison 
or the working-class, above all counted on the suddenness of their 
attack. Their plan was discovered in time by Sub-Lieutenant 
Blagonravov, thanks to the revolutionary vigilance of a soldier of 
the Red Guards whose name shall be made public. At the centre 
of the plot was the Committee for Salvation. Colonel Polkovnikov 
was in command of their forces, and the orders were signed by Gotz, 
former member of the Provisional Government, allowed at liberty 
on his word of honour. . . . 

Bringing these facts to the attention of the Petrograd popula- 
tion^ the Military Revolutionary Committee orders the arrest of all 



concerned in the conspiracy^ who ahall be tried before the Revolu- 
tionary Tribunal. . . . 

From Moscow, word that the fpmkers and Cossacks had 
surrounded the Kremlin and ordered the Soviet troops to lay 
down their arms. The Soviet forces complied, and as they 
\ were leaving the Kremlin, were set upon and shot down. Small 
forces of Bolsheviki had been driven from the Telephone and 
Telegraph offices ; the ywnkers now held the centre of the city. 
• . . But all around them the Soviet troops were mustering. 
Street-fighting was slowly gathering way ; all attempts at com- 
promise had failed. ... On the side of the Soviet, ten thou- 
sand garrison soldiers and a few Red Guards; on the side of 
the Government, six thousand ywnkers^ twenty-five hundred 
Cossacks and two thousand White Guards. 

The Petrograd Soviet was meeting, and next door the new 
Tsay-ee-kdh^ acting on the decrees and orders ' which came 
down in a steady stream from the Council of People's Conunis- 
sars in session upstairs; on the Order in Which Laws 
Are to be Ratified and Published, Establishing an Eight- 
hour Day for Workers, and Lunatcharsky's "Basis for a 
System of Popular Education.'* Only a few hundred people 
were present at the two meetings, most of them armed. Smolny 
was almost deserted, except for th^ guards, who were busy at 
the hall windows, setting up machine-guns to command the 
flanks of the building. 

In the Tsay-ee-kah a delegate of the Vikzhel was speaking: 

*^e refuse to transport the troops of either party. . . , 
We have sent a committee to Kerensky to say that if he con- 
tinues to march on Petrograd we will break his lines of com- 
munication. . . ." 

He made the usual plea for a conference of all the So- 
cialist parties to form a new Government. . . . 

Kameniev answered discreetly. The Bolsheviki would be 


very glad to attend the conference. The centre of gravity, 
however, lay not in composition of such a Government, but in 
its acceptance of the programme of the Congress of Soviets. 
. . . The T8ay-ee-kah had deliberated on the declaration made 
by the Left Socialist Revolutionaries and the Social Democrats 
Internationalists, and had accepted the proposition of pro- 
portional representation at the conference, even including 
delegates from the Army Committees and the Peasants' So- 
viets. • • • 

In the great hall, Trotzky recounted the events of the day. 

*We offered the Vladimir yunkers a chance to surrender ,** 
he said. **We wanted to settle matters without bloodshed. 
But now that blood has been spilled there is only one way — 
pitiless struggle. It would be childish to think we can win 
by any other means. . . . The moment is decisive. Everybody 
must cooperate with the Military Revolutionary Commit- 
tee, report where there are stores of barbed wire, benzine, guns. 
. . . We've won the power ; now we must keep it !" 

The Menshevik Yoffe tried to read his party's declara- 
tion, but Trotzky refused to allow "a debate about principle." 

"Our debates are now in the streets," he cried. "The de- 
cisive step has been taken. We all, and I in particular, take 
the responsibility for what is happening. . . ." 

Soldiers from the front, from Gatchina, told their stories. 
One from the Death Battalion, Four Hundred Eighty-first Ar- 
tillery: **When the trenches hear of this, they will cry, *This 
is our Government !' " A ywnker from Peterhof said that he and 
two others had refused to march against the Soviets ; and when 
his comrades had returned from the defence of the Winter Pal- 
ace they appointed him their Commissar, to go to Smolny and 
offer their services to the real Revolution. . . . 

Then Trotzky again, fiery, indefatigable, giving orders, 
answering questions. 

"The petty bourgeoisie, in order to defeat the workers, 


soldkn and peasants, would combine with the deiil himsdf T* 
he said once. Many cases of drunkenness had been remarked 
the last two days. ^No drinking, comrades! No one must 
be on the streets after eight in the evening, except the rq^ar 
guards. All places suspected of having stores of liquor 
should be searched, and the liquor destroyed.^ No mercy to 
the sellers of liquor. . . .** 

The Military Revolutionary Committee sent for the dele- 
gation from the Viborg section; then for the members frcHn 
Putilov. They clumped out hurriedly, 
t ^For each revolutionist killed,'' said Trotzky, ^e shall kill 
•' fivers eounter-revolutionists P' 

V Down-town again. The Duma brilliantly illuminated and 
' great crowds pouring in. In the lower hall wailing and cries 
of grief; the throng surged back and forth before the bulletin- 
board, where was posted a list of ywnkeirs killed in the day's 
fighting — or supposed to be killed, for most of the dead af- 
terward turned up safe and sound. . . . Up in the Alexander 
Hall the Committee for Salvation held forth. The gold and 
red epaulettes of officers were conspicuous, the familiar faces 
of the Menshevik and Socialist Revolutionary intellectuals, the 
hard eyes and bulky magnificence of bankers and dijdomats, 
officials of the old regime, and well-dressed women. • . . 

The telephone girls were testifying. Girl after girl came 
to the tribune — over-dressed, fashion-aping little girls, with 
pinched faces and leaky shoes. Girl after girl, flushing with 
pleasure at the applause of the "nice" people of Petrograd, 
of the officers, the rich, the great names of politics — ^girl after 
girl, to narrate her sufferings at the hands of the proletariat, 
and proclaim her loyalty to all that was old, established and 
powerful. . . . 

The Duma was again in session in the Nicolai Hall. The 
Mayor said hopefully that the Petrograd regiments were 
ashamed of their actions; propaganda was making headway. 

unun H I 


Ma n pasm^cb Macnicb ro|K)na yopoNM 

N NaraiiKHBaen Ha wiirb confi^r^ orapaaa biiikm> BHecm pacmn 

n pqiy PetonioivoiiiioA apMiN. 

flpiiicaMBacrai Kiii> A0iiotiM> KomiTeiaii^ n 3?}nb Mac 
cpoiTb no pacwieihcfc 9Toro npNKasa cooQupm unhno n ceKpemo 
c6h NAtmivqcaiy HNlcb 3HnHCn](b BHHH npen^tnaiT. IIoiik. Kohl 

nrn^n He NcnonHNBuiif ytoro npNKa^s^ 6yAyTii 
apeaoBaNH n npenaNu caMony BE3nO(i|RAHOMy 
Ottf, a HMyCIlEaBO M^ 6yAen. KOHcPMCKO- 
BRHOi odHapyweNNue we 3anacu BNHa 6yAyTb 


'Hepesb 2 >iaca noark npenynpeNgieHifi, 

1160 Meiite ptuiHTeiibHbifl Mtpu, naKh mim> noKasairb 

onun^ He npNBO^siTb Kb wenaHHOfi iftnii. 

06MBiHieM'fc» HTO (Ko6Myb npeAynpoKACHlii 

wcpeA'b waHanoMt B3pbiBa He 6yAeTb. 

Mni iminii. tamon mu 

Rerolutionary law and order. A proclamation of the Finland Raiment, in De- 
cember, 191^, announcing desperate remedies for "wine pogroms." iPor translation 
see Appendix 5. 



• • • Emissaries came and went, reporting horrible deeds by 
the Bolshevikiy interceding to save the ywnkers, busily investi- 
gating. . • . 

"The Bolsheviki," said Trupp, "will be conquered by 
moral force, and not by bayonets^ . . .*' 

Meanwhile all was not well on the revolutionary front. 
The enemy had brought up armoured trains, mounted with 
cannon. The Soviet forces, mostly raw Red Guards, were 
without officers and without a definite plan. Only five thou- 
sand regular soldiers had joined them; the rest of the garri- 
son was either busy suppressing the ywnJcer revolt, guarding 
the city, or undecided what to do. At ten in the evening Lenin 
addressed a meeting of delegates from the city regiments, who 
voted overwhelmingly to fight. A Committee of five soldiers 
was elected to serve as General Stafi^, and in the small hours 
of the morning the regiments left their barracks in full battle 
array. • • . Going home I saw them pass, swinging along 
with the regular tread of veterans, bayonets in perfect align- 
ment, through the deserted streets of the conquered city. • . • 

At the same time, in the headquarters of the Vikzhel 
down on the Sadovaya, the conference of all the Socialist par- 
ties to form a new Government was under way. Abramovitch, 
for the centre Mensheviki, said that there should be neither 
conquerors nor conquered — that bygones should be bygones. 
... In this were agreed all the left wing parties. Dan, speak- 
ing in the name of the right Mensheviki, proposed to the 
Bolsheviki the following conditions for a truce: The Red 
Guard to be disarmed, and the Petrograd garrison to be placed 
at the orders of the Duma; the troops of Kerensky not to 
fire a single shot or arrest a single man ; a Ministry of all the 
Socialist parties except the Bolsheviki. For Smolny Riazanov 
and Kameniev declared that a coalition ministry of all par- 
ties was acceptable, but protested at Dan's proposals. The 
Socialist Revolutionaries were divided ; but the Executive Com- 


mittee of the 'Peasants' Soviets and the Populist Spcialists 
flatly refused to admit the Bolsheviki. ,. . . After bitter quar- 
relling a commission was elected to draw up a workable 
plan. • • • 

All that night the commission wrangled, and all the next 
day, and the next night. Once before, on the 9th of Novem- 
ber, there had been a similar effort at conciliation, led by 
Martov and Gorky; but at the approach of Kerensky and 
the activity of the Committee for Salvation, the right wing 
of the Mensheviki, Socialist Revolutionaries and Populist So- 
cialists suddenly withdrew. Now they were awed by the crush- 
ing of the ywnker rebellion. . . . 

Monday the 12th was a day of suspense. The eyes of all 
Russia were fixed on the grey plain beyond the gates of Petro- 
grad, where all the available strength of the old order faced 
the unorganised power of the new, the unknown. In Moscow 
a truce had been declared; both sides parleyed, awaiting the 
result in the capital. Now the delegates to the Congress of 
Soviets, hurrying on speeding trains to the farthest reaches of 
Asia, were coming to their homes, carrying the fiery cross. 
In wide-spreading ripples news of the miracle spread over the 
face of the land, and in its wake towns, cities and far villages 
stirred and broke, Soviets and Military Revolutionary Com- 
mittees against Dumas, Zemstvos and Government Commissars 
— ^Red Guards against White — street fighting and passionate ^ 
speech. . . . The result waited on the word from Petrograd. • • • / 

Smolny was almost empty, but the Duma was thronged^ 
and noisy. The old Mayor, in his dignified way, was pro- 
testing against the Appeal of the Bolshevik Councillors. 

"The Duma is not a centre of counter-revolution,'* he said, 
warmly. "The Duma takes no part in the present struggle 
between the parties. But at a time when there is no legal 
power in the land, the only centre of order is the Municipal 


Self-Govemment. The peaceful population recognises this 
fact; the foreign Embassies recognise only such documents as 
are signed by the Mayor of the town. The mind of a Euro- 
pean does not admit of any other situation, as the Municipal 
self-government is the only organ which is capable of pro- 
tecting the interests of the citizens. The City is bound to 
show hospitality to all organisations which desire to pfofit 
by such hospitality, and therefore the Duma cannot prevent 
the distribution of any newspapers whatever within the Duma 
building. The sphere of our work is increasing, and we must 
be given full liberty of action, and our rights must be re- 
spected by both parties. . . . 

**We are perfectly neutral. When the Telephone Ex- 
change was occupied by the ywnkers Colonel Polkovnikov or- 
dered the telephones to Smolny disconnected, but I protested, 
and the telephones were kept going. . . •'* 

At this tihere was ironic laughter from the Bolshevik 
benches, and imprecations from the right. 

"And yet,'' went on Schreider, "they look upon us as 
counter-revolutionaries and report us to the population. They 
deprive us of our means of transport by taking away our last 
motor-cars. It will not be our fault if there is famine in the 
town. 'Protests are of no use. . . .'* 

Kobozev, Bolshevik member of the Town Board, was doubt- 
ful whether the Military Revolutionary Committee had requi- 
sitioned the Municipal automobiles. Even granting the fact, 
it was probably done by some unauthorised individual, in the 

"The Mayor," he continued, "tells us that we must not 
make political meetings out of the Duma. But every Men- 
shevik and Socialist Revolutionary here talks nothing but 
party propaganda, and at the door they distribute their ille- 
gal newspapers, Iskri (Sparks), Soldatski Golos and Rabot- 
chaya Gazeta, inciting to insurrection. What if we Bolshe- 

t r ; — *-yTER-REVOLUnON ^ 809 


f.- ^ 

viki should also begin to distribute our papers here? But this// 
shall not be, for we respect the Duma. We have not attacked^ 
the Municipal Self-Government, and we shall not do so. But 
you have addressed an Appeal to the population, and we are 
entitled also to do so. . . ." 

Followed him Shingariov, Cadet, who said that there could 
be no common language with those who were liable to be 
brought before the Attorney General for indictment, and who 
must be tried on the charge of treason. . . . He proposed 
again that all Bolshevik members should be expelled from the 
Duma. This was tabled, however, for there were no personal 
charges against the members, and they were active in the Muni- 
cipal administration. 

Then two Mensheviki Internationalists, declaring that the 
Appeal of the Bolshevik Councillors was a direct incite- 
ment to massacre. ^^If everything that is against the Bolshe- 
viki is counter-revolutionary," said Pinkevitch, "then I do 
not know the diflFerence between revolution and anarchy. . . . 
The Bolsheviki are depending upon the passions of the unbri- 
dled masses; we have nothing but moral force. We will pro- 
test against massacres and violence from both sides, as our 
task is to find a peaceful issue." 

"The notice posted in the streets under the heading ^To 
the Pillory,' which calls upon the people to destroy the Men- 
sheviki and Socialist Revolutionaries," said Nazariev, "is a 
crime which you, Bolsheviki, will not be able to wash away. 
Yesterday's horrors are but a preface to what you are pre- 
paring by such a proclamation. ... I have always tried to 
reconcile you with the other parties, but at present I feel for 
you nothing but contempt!" 

The Bolshevik Councillors were on their feet, shouting an- 
grily, assailed by hoarse, hateful voices and waving arms. . . . 

Outside the hall I ran into the City Engineer, the Menshe- 


vik Gomberg and three or four reporters. They were all in 
high spirits. 

"See!'^ they said. "The cowards are afraid of us. They 
don't dare arrest the Duma! Their Military Revolutionary 
Committee doesn't dare to send a Commissar into this build- 
ing. Why, on the corner of the Sadovaya to-day, I saw a 
Red Guard try to stop a boy selling Soldatski Golos. • • . 
The boy just laughed at him, and a crowd of people wanted 
to lynch the bandit. It's only a few hours more, now. Even 
if Kerensky wouldn't come they haven't the men to run a 
Government. Absurd! I understand they're even fighting 
among themselves at Smolny!" 

A Socialist Revolutionary friend of mine drew me aside. 
"I know where the Committee for Salvation is hiding," he said. 
"Do you want to go and talk with them?" 

By this time it was dusk. The city had again settled down 
to normal — shop-shutters up, lights shining, and on the streets 
great crowds of people slowly moving up and down and argu- 
ing. . . . 

At Number 86 Nevsky we went through a passage into a 
courtyard, surrounded by tall apartment buildings. At 
the door of apartment 2S9 my friend knocked in a peculiar 
way. There was a sound of scuffling; an inside door slammed; 
then the front door opened a crack and a woman's face ap- 
peared. After a minute's observation she led us in — a placid- 
looking, middle-aged lady who at once cried, "Kyril, it's all 
rights" In the dining-room, where a samovar steamed on the 
table and there were plates full of bread and raw fish, a man in 
uniform emerged from behind the window-curtains, and an- 
other, dressed like a workman, from a closet. They* were de- 
lighted to meet an American reporter. With a certain amount 
of gusto both said that they would certainly be shot if the 
Bolsheviki caught them. They would ni^ give me their names, 
but both were Socialist Revolutionaries. \ . . ,'^\ 


••Why," I asked, "do you publish such lies in your news- . 
papers?*' I 

Without taking offence the officer replied, "Yes, I know; ] 
but what can we do?" He shrugged. "You must admit that 
it is necessary for us to create a certain frame of mind in 
the people. . . .'' 

The other man interrupted. "This is merely an adventure 
on the part of the Bolsheviki. They have no intellectuals. 
. . . The Ministries won't work. . . . Russia is not a city, 
but a whole country. . . . Realising that they can only last 
a few days, we have decided to come to the aid of the strongest 
force opposed to them — ^Kerensky — and help to restore or- 

"That is all very well," I said. "But why do you combine 
with the Cadets?" 

The pseudo-workman smiled frankly. "To tell you the 
truth, at this moment the masses of the people are following 
the Bolsheviki. We have no following— now. We can't mo- 
bilise a handful of soldiers. There are no arms available. . . . 
The Bolsheviki are right to a certain extent ; there are at 
this moment in Russia only two parties with any force — the 
Bolsheviki and the reactionaries, who are all hiding under the 
coat-tails of the Cadets. The Cadets think they are using 
us; but it is really we who are using the Cadets. When we 
smash the Bolsheviki we shall turn against the Cadets. . • ." 

"Will the Bolsheviki be admitted into the new Govern- 

He scratched his head. "That's a problem," he admitted. 
••Of course if they are not admitted, they'll probably do this 
all over again. At any rate, they will have a chance to hold 
the balance of power in the Constituent — that is, if there is 
a Constituent." 

••And then, too," said the officer, "that brings up the 
question of admitting the Cadets into the new Government — 



and for the same reasons. You know the Cadets do not really 
want the Constituent Assembly — ^not if the Bolsheviki can be 
destroyed now." He shook his head. "It is not easy for us 
Russians, politics. You Americans are bom politicians; you 
have had politics all your lives. But for us — ^well, it has only 
been a year, you know!" 

^*What do you think of Kerensky?" I asked. 

"Oh, Kerensky is guilty of the sins of the Provisional Gov- 
ernment," answered the other man. "Kerensky himself forced 
us to accept coalition with the bourgeoisie. If he had re^ 
signed, as he threatehed, it would have meant a new Cabinet 
crisis only sixteen weeks before the Constituent Assembly, and 
that we wanted to avoid." 

"But didn^t it amount to that anjrway?" 

"Yes, but how were we to know? They tricked us — ^the 
Kerenskys and Avksentievs. Gotz is a little more radicaL I 
stand with Tchernov, who is a real revolutionist. . . . Why, 
only to-day Lenin sent word that he would not object to 
Tchernov entering the Government. 

"We wanted to get rid of the Kerensky Government too, 
but we thought it better to wait for the Constituent. . . . At 
the beginning of this affair I was with the Bolsheviki, but the 
Central Committee of my party voted unanimously against 
it — and what could I do? It was a matter of party disci- 
pline. . . . 

"In a week the Bolshevik Government will go to pieces ; if 
the Socialist Revolutionaries could only stand aside and wait, 
the Government would fall into their hands. But if we wait a 
week the country will be so disorganised that the German im- 
perialists will be victorious. That is why we began our revolt 
with only two regiments of soldiers promising to support us — 
and they turned against us. . • • That left only the 
ytmkers. . . ." 

"How about the Cossacks?" 


The officer sighed. ^^They did not move. At first they said 
they would come out if they had infantry support. They said 
moreover that they had their men with Kerensky, and that they 
were doing their part. . • . Then, too, they said that the Cos- 
sacks were always accused of being the hereditary enemies of 
democracy. . . . And finally, *The Bolsheviki promise that 
they will not take away "our land. There is no danger to us. 
We remain neutral.' " 

During this talk people were constantly entering and leav- 
ing — ^most of them officers, their shoulder-straps torn off. We 
could see them in the hall, and hear their low, vehement voices. 
Occasionally, through the half-drawn portiferes, we caught a 
g'limpse of a door opening into a bath-room, where a heavily- 
built officer in a colonel's uniform sat on the toilet, writing 
something on a pad held in his lap. I recognised Colonel 
Folkovnikov, former commandant of Petrograd, for whose 
arrest the Military Revolutionary Committee would have paid 
a fortune. 

"Our programme?" said the officer. "This is it. Land to 
be turned over to the Land Committees. Workmen to have 
full representation in the control of industry. An energetic 
peace programme, but not an ultimatmn to the world such 
as the Bolsheviki issued. The Bolsheviki cannot keep their 
promises to the masses, even in the country itself. We won't 
let them. • • • They stole our land programme in order to get 
the support of the peasants. That is dishonest. If they had 
waited for the Constituent Assembly " 

"It doesn't matter about the Constituent Assembly !" broke 
in the officer. "If the Bolsheviki want to establish a Socialist 
state here, we cannot work with them in any event ! Kerensky 
made the great mistake. He let the Bolsheviki know what he 
was going to do by announcing in the Council of the Republic 
that he had ordered their arrest. . . ." 

"But what," I said, "do you intend to do now?" 


The two men looked at one another. "You will see in a 
few days. If there are enough troops from the front on our 
side, we shall not compromise with the Bolsheviki. If not, ])er- 
haps we shall be forced to. . . ." 

Out again on the Nevsky we swung on the step of a street- 
car bulging with people, its platforms bent down from the 
weight and scraping along the ground, which crawled with 
agonising slowness the long miles to Smolny. 

Meshkovsky, a neat, frail little man, was coming down the 
hall, looking worried. The strikes in the Ministries, he told us, 
were having their effect. For instance, the Council of People's 
Commissars had promised to publish the Secret Tr^ties; but 
Neratov, the functionary in charge, had disappeared, taking the 
/ ydocuments with him. They were supposed to be hidden in the 
jy^ British Embassy. . . . 

Worst of all, however, was the strike in the banks. ^*With- 
out money," said Menzhinsky, ^Ve are helpless. The wages 
of the railroad men, of the postal and telegraph employees, 
must be paid. . . . The banks are closed; and the key to the 
situation, the State Bank, is also shut. All the bank-clerks 
in Russia have been bribed to stop work. . . . 

^^But Lenin has issued an order to dynamite the State Bank 
vaults, and there is a Decree just out, ordering the private 
banks to open to-morrow, or we will open them ourselves !" 

The Petrograd Soviet was in full swing, thronged with 
armed men, Trotzky reporting: 

^^The Cossacks are falling back from Krasnoye Selo." 
(Sharp, exultant cheering.) ^^But the battle is only beginning. 
At Pulkovo heavy fighting is going on. All available forces 
must be hurried there. . . . 

^Trom Moscow, bad news. The Kremlin is in the hands of 
the yunkers^ and the workers have only a few arms. The result 
depends upon Petrograd. 

^^At the front, the decrees on Peace and Land are pro- 


yoking great enthusiasm. Kerensky is flooding the trenches 
with tales of Petrograd burning and bloody, of women and 
children massacred ^ by the Bolsheviki. But no one believes 
him. . . • 

^^The cruisers Oleg^ Avrora and Resptihlica are anchored 
in the Neva, their guns trained on the approaches to the 
city. . . ." 

"Why aren't you out there with the Red Guards?" shouted 
a rough voice. 

' "Fm going now !*' answered Trotzky, and left the platform. 
His face a little paler than usual, he passed down the side of 
the room, surrounded by eager friends, and hurried out to the 
waiting automobile. 

Kameniev now spoke, describing the proceedings of the 
reconciliation conference. The armistice conditions proposed 
by the Mensheviki, he said, had been contemptuously rejected. 
Even the branches of the Railwaymen's Union had voted 
against such a proposition. . . . 

"Now that we've won the power and are sweeping all Rus- 
sia," he declared, "all they ask of us are three little things: 
1. To surrender the power. 2. To make the soldiers con- 
tinue the war. 3. To make Ihe peasants forget about the 
land. ..." 

Lenin appeared for a moment, to answer the accusations 
of the Socialist Revolutionaries : 

*'They charge us with stealing their land programme. . . . 
If that is so, we bow to them. It is good enough for us. . . ." 

So the meeting roared on, leader after leader explaining, 
exhorting, arguing, soldier after soldier, workman after work- 
man, standing up to speak his mind and his heart. . . . The 
audience flowed, changing and renewed continually. From time 
to time men came in, yelling for the members of such and 
such a detachment, to go to the front; others, relieved. 


wounded, or coining to Smolnj for arms and equipment, poured 

It was almost three o'clock in the morning when, as we left 
the hall, Holtzman, of the Military Revolutionary Committee, 
came running down the hall with a transfigured face. 

"It's all right!" he shouted, grabbing my hands. "Tele- 
gram from the front. Kerensky is smashed ! Look at this !" 

He held out a sheet of paper, scribbled hurriedly in pencil, 
and then, seeing we couldn't read it, he declaimed aloud : 

Polkovo. Staff. 2.10 a.m. 

The night of October dOth to 3 1st will go down in history. 
The attempt of Kerensky to move counter-revolutionary troops 
against the capital of the Revolution has been decisively repulsed. 
Kerensky is retreating, we are advancing. The soldiers, sailors 
and workers of Petrograd have shown that they can and will with 
arms in their hands enforce the will and authority of the democ- 
racy. The bourgeoisie tried to isolate the revolutionary army. 
Kerensky attempted to break it by the force of the Cossacks. Both 
plans met a pitiful defeat. 

The grand idea of the domination of the worker and peasant 
democracy closed the ranks of the army and hardened its will. 
All the country from now on will be convinced that the Power of 
the Soviets is no ephemeral thing, but an invincible fact. . . . The 
repulse of Kerensky is the repulse of the land-owners, the bour- 
geoisie and the Kornilovists in general. The repulse of Kerensky is 
the confirmation of the right of the people to a peaceful free life, 
to land, bread and power. The Pulkovo detachment by its valor- 
ous blow has strengthened the cause of the Workers' and Peasants' 
Revolution. There is no return to the past. Before us are strug- 
gles, obstacles and sacrifices. But the road is clear and victory 
is certain. 

Revolutionary Russia and the Soviet Power can be proud of 
their Pulkovo detachment, acting under the command of Colonel 
Walden. Eternal memory to those who fell! Glory to the war- 


riors of the Revolution^ the soldiers and the officers who were faith- 
ful to the People! 

Long live revolutionary^ popular^ Socialist Russia! 

In the name of the Council^ 

L. Trotzky^ People's Commissar. . . . 

Driving home across Znamensky Square, we made out an 
unusual crowd in front of the Nicolai Railway Station. Sev- 
eral thousand sailors were massed there, bristling with rifles. 

Standing on the steps, a member of the ViJezhel was plead- 
ing with them. 

"Comrades, we cannot carry you to Moscow. We are 
neutral. We do not carry troops for either side. We cannot 
take you to Moscow, where already there is terrible civil 
^T ar. ... 

All the seething Square roared at him; the sailors began 
to surge forward. Suddenly another door was flung wide; in 
it stood two or three brakeman, a fireman or so. 

"This way, comrades!" cried one. "We will take you to 
Moscow — or Vladivostok, if you like! Long live the Revolu- 



Order Number I 

To the Troops of the Pulkovo Detachment. 

November IS, 1917* 38 minutes past 9 a* m. 
After a cruel fight the troops of the Pulkovo detachment com- 
pletely routed the counter-revolutionary forces^ who retreated from 
their positions in disorder^ and under cover of Tsarskoye Selo fell 
back toward Pavlovsk II and Gatchina. 

Our advanced units occupied the northeastern extremity of 
Tsarskoye Selo and the station Alexandrovskaya. The Colpinno 
detachment was on our left^ the Krasnoye Selo detachment to our 

I ordered the Pulkovo forces to occupy Tsarskoye Selo^ to for- 
tify its approaches^ especially on the side of Gatchina. 

Also to pass and occupy Pavlovskoye^ fortifying its southern 
si^e^ and to take up the railroad as far as Dno. 

The troops must take all measures to strengthen the positions 
occupied by them^ arranging trenches and other defensive works. 
They must enter into close liaison with the detachments of 
Colpinno and Krasnoye Selo^ and also with the Staff of the Com- 
mander in Chief for the Defence of Petrograd. 

Commander in Chief aver all Forces acting against 
the Counter-revolutionary Troops of Kerenshy, 

Lieutenant-Colonel Muraviov. 

Tuesday morning. But how is this? Only two days ago 
the Petrograd campagna was full of leaderless bands, wander- 



ing aimlessly ; without f ood, without artillery, without a plan. 
What had fused that disorganised mass of undisciplined Red 
Guards, and soldiers without officers, into an army obedient 
to its own elected high command, tempered to meet and break 
the assault of cannon and Cossack cavalry? ^ 

People in revolt have a way of defying military precedent. 
The ragged armies of the French Revolution are not forgot- 
ten — ^Valmy and the Lines of Weissembourg. Massed against 
the Soviet forces were ytmkerSf Cossacks, land-owners, nobility. 
Black Hundreds — the Tsar come again, Okhrana and Siberian 
chains ; and the vast and terrible menace of the Grermans. . . . 
Victory, in the words of Carlyle, meant "Apotheosis and Mil- 
lennium without end!" 

Sunday night, the Commissars of the Military Revolution* 
ary Committee returning desperately from the field, the gar- 
rison of Petrograd elected its Committee of Five, its Battle 
Staff, three, soldiers and two officers, all certified free from 
counter-revolutionary taint. Colonel Muraviov, ex-patriot, 
was in command — an efficient man, but to be carefully watched. 
At Colpinno, at Obukhovo, at Pulkovo and Krasnoye Selo were 
formed provisional detachments, increased in size as the strag- 
glers came in from the surrounding country — ^mixed soldiers, 
sailors and Red Guards, parts of regiments, infantry, cavalry 
and artillery all together, and a few armoured cars. 

Day broke, and the pickets of Kerensky's Cossacks came in 
touch. Scattered rifle-fire, summons to surrender. Over the 
Ueak plain on the cold quiet air spread the sound of battle, 
falling upon the ears of roving bands as they gathered about 
their little fires, waiting. ... So it was beginning! They 
made toward the battle; and the worker hordes pouring out 
along the straight roads quickened their pace. . . • Thus upon 
all the points of attack automatically converged angry human 

^ References in this chapter refer to the Appendix to Chapter IX. See 

page S60. 


swarms, to be met by Commissars and assigned positions, or 
work to do. This was their battle, for their world; the of- 
ficers in command were elected by them. For the moment that 
incoherent multiple will was one will. . • • 

Those who participated in the fighting described to me how 
the sailors fought until they ran out of cartridges, and then 
stormed ; how the untrained workmen rushed the charging Cos- 
sacks and tore them from their horses; how the anonymous 
hordes of the people, gathering in the darkness around the 
battle, rose like a tide and poured over the enemy. ... Before 
midnight of Monday the Cossacks broke and were fleeing, leav- 
ing their artillery behind them, and the army of the pro- 
letariat, on a long ragged front, moved forward and rolled into 
Tsarskoye, before the enemy had a chance to destroy the 
great Government wireless station, from which now the Com- 
missars of Smolny were hurling out to the world paeans of 
triumph. • • • 


The 12th of November^ in a bloody combat near Tsarskoye 
Selo, the revolutionary army defeated the counter-revolutionary 
troops of Kerensky and Kornilov. In the name of the Revolution- 
ary Government I order all regiments to take the offensive against 
I the enemies of the revolutionary democracy^ and to take all meas- 
\ ures to arrest Kerensky^ and also to oppose any adventure which 
might menace the conquests of the Revolution and the victory of 
the proletariat. 

Long live the Revolutionary Army! 


News from the provinces. . . . 

At Sevastopol the local Soviet had assumed the power; a 
huge meeting of the sailors on the battleships in the harbour 
had forced their officers to line up and swear allegiance to the 
nev Government. At Nizhni Novgorod the Soviet was in cqn- 


trol. From Kazan came reports of a battle in the streets, 
ytmkers and a brigade of artillery against the Bolshevik gar- 
rison. • • . 

Desperate fighting had broken out again in Moscow. The 
yunken and White Guards held the Kremlin and the centre 
of the town, beaten upon from all sides by the troops of the 
Military Revolutionary Committee. The Soviet artillery was 
stationed in Skobeliev Square, bombarding the City Duma 
building, the Prefecture and the Hotel Metropole. The cobble- 
stones of the Tverskaya and Nikitskaya had been torn up 
for trenches and barricades. A hail of machine-gun fire swept 
the quarters of the great banks and commercial houses. There 
were no lights, no telephones ; the bourgeois population lived in 
the cellars. . • . The last bulletin said that the Military Revo- 
lutionary Committee had delivered an ultimatum to the Com- 
mittee of Public Safety, demanding the immediate surrender of 
the Kremlin, or bombardment would follow. 

"Bombard the Kremlin?'* cried the ordinary citizen. "They 
dare not!" 

From Vologda to Chita in far Siberia, from Pskov to 
Sevastopol on the Black Sea, in great cities and little vil- 
lages, civil war burst into flame. From thousands of factories, 
peasant communes, regiments and armies, ships on the wide 
sea, greetings poured into Petrograd — greetings to the Gov- 
ernment of the People. 

The Cossack Government at Novotcherkask telegraphed to 
Kerensky, **The Government of the Cossack troops invites the 
Provisional Government and the members of the CotmcU of 
the Republic to come^ if possible^ to Novotcherkask^ where we 
can organise in common the struggle against the Bolsheviku'^ 

In Finland, also, things were stirring. The Soviet of 
Helsingfors and the Tsentrohalt (Central Committee of the 
Baltic Fleet), jointly proclaimed a state of siege, and declared 
that all attempts to interfere with the Bolshevik forces, and all 


armed resistance to its t)rders, would be severely repressed. 
At the same time the Finnish Railway Union called a country- 
wide general strike, to put into operation the laws passed by 
the Socialist Diet of June, 1917, dissolved by Kerensky. • • • 

Early in the morning I went out to Smolny. Going up 
the long wooden sidewalk from the outer gate I saw the first 
thin, hesitating snow-flakes fluttering down from the grey, 
windless sky. "Snow !" cried the soldier at the door, grinning 
with delight. "Good for the health !" Inside, the long, gloomy 
halls and bleak rooms seemed deserted. No one moved in all 
the enormous pile. A deep, uneasy sound came to my ears, and 
looking around, I noticed that everywhere on the floor, along 
the walls, men were sleeping. Rough, dirty men, workers and 
soldiers, spattered and caked with mud, sprawled alone or in 
heaps, in the careless attitudes of death. Some wore ragged 
bandages marked with blood. Guns and cartridge-belts were 
scattered about. . . . The victorious proletarian army! 

In the upstairs buffet so thick they lay that one could 
hardly walk. The air was foul. Through the clouded windows 
a pale light streamed. A battered samovar, cold, stood on the 
counter, and many glasses holding dregs of tea. Beside them 
lay a copy of the Military Revolutionary Committee's last 
bulletin, upside down, scrawled with painful hand-writing. It 
was a memorial written by some soldier to his comrades fallen 
in the fight against Kerensky, just as he had set it down before 
falling on the floor to sleep. The writing was blurred with 
what looked like tears. 

. • 

Alexei Vinogradov 

D. Maskvin 

S. Stolbikov 

A. Voskressensky 

D. Leonsky 

D. Preobra;^hensky 


V. Laidansky 
M. Berchikoy 

These men were drafted into the Army on November 15th^ 
1916. Only three are left of the above. 
Mikhail Berchikov 
Alexei Voskressensky 
Dmitri Leonsky 

Sleep, warrior eagles, sleep with peaceful ioul* 
You have deserved, our own ones, happiness and 
Eternal peace. Under the earth of the grave 
You have straitly closed your ranks. Sleep, Citizens! 

Only the Military Revolutionary Committee still func- 
tioned, unsleeping. Skripnik, emerging from the inner room, 
said that Gotz had been arrested, but had flatly denied sign- 
ing the proclamation of the Committee for Salvation, as had 
Avksentiev; and the Conmiittee for Salvation itself had repu- 
diated the Appeal to the garrison. There was still disafiec- 
tion among the city regiments, Skripnik reported ; the Volhyn- 
sky Regiment had refused to fight against Kerensky. 

Several detachments of **neutra?' troops, with Tchernov at 
their head, were at Gatchina, trying to persuade Kerensky 
to halt his attack on Petrograd. 

Skripnik laughed. "There can be no 'neutrals' now," he 
said. "We've won !'* His sharp, bearded face glowed with an 
almost religious exaltation. "More than sixty delegates have 
arrived from the Front, with assurances of support by all 
the armies except the troops on the Rumanian front, who 
have not been heard from. The Army Committees have sup- 
pressed all news from Petrograd, but we now have a regular 
system of couriers. ..." 

Down in the front hall Kameniev was just entering, worn 
out by the all-night session of the Conference to Form a New 
Government, but happy. "Already the Socialist Revolution- 


aries are inclined to admit us into the new Groyemment," he 
told me. "The right wing groups are frightened by the Revo- 
lutionary Tribunals ; they demand, in a sort of panic, that we 
dissolve them before going any further. . • • We have ac- 


KiOKBaro Rom- 

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no R9L8Baq6Bi9. 

HavuuBBKft Irate I 

Order given me at Sta£F headquarters by command of the Council of People's 
Commissars, to transmit the first despatch out of Perograd after the Noyember Kevo- 
lution, over the Government wires to America. 



Military Revolutionary 


Sov. W. & S. D. 

2 November, 19 17 

No. i860 


Is given by the present to the journalist of the New York Socialist jpress John 
Rekd, that the text of the telegram (herewith) has been examined by the Government 
of People's Commissars, and there is no objection to its transmission, and also it is 
recommended that all cooperate in every way to transmit same to its destination. 

For the Commander in Chief , Antonov 
Chief of Staff, Vlad. Bonch-Bbotvitcb 

cepted the proposition of the Vikzhel to form a homog^eous 
Socialist Ministry, and they're working on that now. You 
see, it all springs from our victory. When we were down, 
they wouldn't have us at any price ; now everybody's in favour 
of some agreement with the Soviets. . • • What we need is a 


really decisive victory. Kerensky wants an armistice, but he'll 
have to surrender.^ . . /' 

That was the temper of the Bolshevik leaders. To a 
foreign journalist who asked Trotzky what statement he had 
to make to the world, Trotzky replied: "At this moment the 
only statement possible is the one we are making through the 
mouths of our cannon!" 

But there was an undercurrent of real anxiety in the tide 
of victory; the question of finances. Instead of opening the 
banks, as had been ordered by the Military Revolutionary 
Committee, the Union of Bank Employees had held a meeting 
and declared a formal strike. Smolny had demanded some 
thirty-five millions of rubles from the State Bank, and the cash- 
ier had locked the vaults, only paying out money to the repre- 
sentatives of the Provisional Government. The reactionaries 
were using the State Bank as a political weapon ; for instance, 
when the Vikzhel demanded money to pay the salaries of the 
employees of the Government railroads, it was told to apply 
to Smolny. . . . 

I went to the State Bank to see the new Commissar, a red- 
haired Ukrainean Bolshevik named Petrovitch. He was trying 
to bring order out of the chaos in which affairs had been 
left by the striking clerks. In all the offices of the huge place 
perspiring volunteer workers, soldiers and sailors, their tongues 
sticking out of their mouths in the intensity of their effort, 
were poring over the great ledgers with a bewUdered air. . . . 

The Duma building was crowded. There were still isolated 
cases of defiance toward the new Government, but they were 
rare. The Central Land Committee had appealed to the 
Feasants, ordering them not to recognise the Land Decree 
passed by the Congress of the Soviets, because it would cause 
confusion and civil war. Mayor Schreider announced that be- 
cause of the Bolshevik insurrection, the elections to the Con- 
stituent Assembly would have to be indefinitely postponed* 


Two questions seemed to be uppermost in all minds, shocked 
by the ferocity of the civil war ; first, a truce to the bloodshed' — 
second, the creation of a new Government. There was no 
longer any talk of "destroying the Bolsheviki" — and very little 
about excluding them from the Government, except from the 
Populist Socialists and the Peasants' Soviets. Even the Cen- 
tral Army Committee at the Stavka, the most determined enemy 
of Smolny, telephoned from Moghilev: ^^If, to constitute the 
new Ministry, it is necessary to come to an understanding with 
the Bolsheviki, we agree to admit them in a minority to the Cab- 

PravdUy ironically calling attention to Kerensky's **humani- 
tarian sentiments," published his despatch to the Conmiittee 
for Salvation: 

In accord with the proposals of the Committee for Salvation 
and all the democratic organisations miited aromid it^ I have halted 
all military action against the rebels. A delegate of the Conmodt- 
tee has been sent to enter into negotiations. Take all measures 
to stop the useless shedding of blood. 

The Vikzhel sent a telegram to all Russia : 

The Conference of the Union of Railway Workers with the 
representatives of both the belligerent parties^ who admit the neces- 
sity of an agreement^ protest energetically against the use of politi- 
cal terrorism in the civil war^ especially when it is carried on be- 
tween different factions of the revolutionary democracy^ and de- 
clare that political terrorism^ in whatever form^ is in contradiction 
to the very idea of the negotiations for a new Government. . • . 

Delegations from the Conference were sent to the Front, to 
Gatchina. In the Conference itself everything seemed on the 
point of final settlement. It had even been decided to 
elect a Provisional People's Council, composed of about four 
hundred members — seventy-five representing Smolny, seventy- 


Kill mm 



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■JCt ind jokcf ■bant the defeated bourgeoise and the "modcnrte" SociaUit le 
lied, "How TBK BoouHui (Bodbdboiue) Lost tbe Powm." 


five the old Tsay-ee-kah^ and the rest split up among the Town 
Dumas, the Trade Unions, Land Committees and political par- 
ties. Tchemov was mentioned as the new Premier, Lenin and 
Trotzky, rumour said, were to be excluded. • • • 

About noon I was again in front of Smolny, talking with 
the driver of an ambulance bound for the revolutionary front. 
Could I go with him? Certainly! He was a volunteer, a 
University student, and as we rolled down the street shouted 
over his shoulder to me phrases of execrable German: **AlsOy 
gut! Wir nach die Kasernen zu essen gehenr* I made out 
that there would be lunch at some barracks. 

On the Kirotchnaya we turned into an immense court- 
yard surrounded by military buildings, and mounted a dark 
stairway to a low room lit by one window. At a long wooden 
table were seated some twenty soldiers, eating shtchi (cabbage 
soup) from a great tin wash-tub with wooden spoons, and talk- 
ing loudly with much laughter. 

"Welcome to the Battalion Committee of the Sixth Reserve 
Engineers' Battalion!'' cried my friend, and introduced me as 
an American Socialist. Whereat every one rose to shake my 
hand, and one old soldier put his arms around me and gave 
me a hearty kiss. A wooden spoon was produced and I took 
my place at the table. Another tub, full of kasha^ was 
brought in, a huge loaf of black bread, and of course the inevit- 
able tea-pots. At once every one began asking me questions 
about America : Was it true that people in a free country sold 
their votes for money? If so, how did they get what they 
wanted? How about this "Tammany"? Was it true that in 
a free country a little group of people could control a 
whole city, and exploited it for their personal benefit? Why 
did the people stand it? Even under the Tsar such things 
could not happen in Russia ; true, here there was always graft, 
but to buy and sell a whole city full of people! And in a 


free country! Had the people no revolutionary feeling? I 
tried to explain that in my country people tried to change 
things by law. 

^^Of course,'' nodded a young sergeant, named Baklanov, 
who spoke French. "But you have a highly developed capital- 
ist class? Then the capitalist class must control the legisla- 
tures and the courts. How then can the people change things? 
I am open to conviction, for I do not know your country ; but 
to me it is incredible. . • ." 

I said that I was going to Tsarskoye Selo. "I, too," said 

Baklanov, suddenly. "And I — and I " The whole roomful 

decided on the spot to go to Tsarskoye Selo. 

Just then came a knock on the door. It opened, and in 
it stood the figure of the Colonel. No one rose, but all shouted 
a greeting. "May I come in?*' asked the Colonel. **Pro8vm! 
Prosimr* they answered heartily. He entered, smiling, a tall, 
distinguished figure in a goat-skin cape embroidered with gold. 
"I think I heard you say that you were going to Tsarskoye 
Selo, comrades,'' he said. "Could I go with you?" 

Baklanov considered. "I do not think there is anything to 
be done here to-day," he answered. "Yes, comrade, we shall 
be very glad to have you." The Colonel thanked him and sat 
down, filling a glass of tea. 


In a low voice, for fear of wounding the Colonel's pride, 
Baklanov explained to me. ^^ou see, I am the chairman of 
the Committee. We control the Battalion absolutely, except 
in action, when the Colonel is delegated by us to command. 
In action his orders must be obeyed, but he is strictly respon- 
sible to us. In barracks he must ask our permission before 
taking any action. • • • You might call him our Executive 
Officer. . . ." 

Arms were distributed to us, revolvers and rifles — **we 
might meet some Cossacks, you know" — and we all piled into 
the ambulance, together with three great bundles of newspapers 


for the front. Straight down the Liteiny we rattled, tad along 
the Zagorodny Prospekt. Next to me sat a youth with the 
shoulder-straps of a Lieutenant, who seemed to speak all 
European languages with equal fluency. He was a member of 
the Battalion Committee. 

^^I am not a Bolshevik,'' he assured me, emphatically. ^My 
family is a very ancient and noble one. I, myself, am^ you 
might say, a Cadet. . . ." 

"But how ?" I began, bewildered. 

"Oh, yes, I am a member of the Committee. I make no 
secret of my political opinions, but the others do not mind, 
because they know I do not believe in opposing the will of 
the majority. ... I have refused to take any action in the 
present civil war, however, for I do not believe in taking up 
arms against my brother Russians. . . ." 

"Provocator ! Kornilovitz !" the others cried at him gaily, 
slapping him on the shoulder. . • • 

Passing under the huge grey stone archway of the M oskov- 
sky Gate, covered with golden hieroglyphics, ponderous Im- 
perial eagles and the names of Tsars, we sped out on the wide 
straight highway, grey with the first light fall of snow. It was 
thronged with Red Guards, stumbling along on foot toward the 
revolutionary front, shouting and singing; and others, grey- 
faced and muddy, coming back. Most of them seemed to be 
mere boys. Women with spades, some with rifles and bando- 
leers, others wearing the Red Cross on their arm-bands — ^the 
bowed, toil-worn women of the slums. Squads of soldiers 
marching out pf step, with an affectionate jeer for the Red 
Guards ; sailors, grim-looking ; children with bundles of food for 
their fathers and mothers ; all these, coming and going, trudged 
through the whitened mud that covered the cobbles of the high- 
way inches deep. We passed cannon, jingling southward with 
their caissons; trucks bound both ways, bristling with armed 
men ; ambulances full of wounded from the direction of the bat- 


tie, and once a peasant cart, creaking slowly along, in which sat 
a white-faced boy bent over his shattered stomach and scream- 
ing monotonously. In the fields on either side women and old 
men were digging trenches and stringing barbed wire entangle- 
^ ments. 

Back northward the clouds rolled away dramatically, and 
the pale sun came out. Across the flat, marshy plain Petrograd 
glittered. To the right, white and gilded and coloured bulbs 
and pinnacles; to the left, tall chimneys, some pouring out 
black smoke; and beyond, a lowering sky over Finland. On 
each side of us were churches, monasteries. . . . Occasionally 
a monk was visiWe, silently watching the pulse of the pro- 
letarian army throbbing on the road. 

At Pulkovo the road divided, and there we halted in the 
midst of a great crowd, where the human streams poured from 
three directions, friends meeting, excited and congratulatory, 
describing the battle to one another. A row of houses facing 
the cross-roads was marked with bullets, and the earth was 
trampled into mud half a mile around. The fighting had been 
furious here. . • • In the near distance riderless Cossack 
horses circled hungrily, for the grass of the plain had died 
long ago. Right in front of us an awkward Red Guard was 
trying to ride one, falling off again and again, to the child- 
like delight of a thousand rough men. 

The left road, along which the remnants of the Cossacks 
had retreated, led up a little hiU to a hamlet, where 
there was a glorious view of the immense plain, grey 
as a windless sea, tumultuous clouds towering over, and 
the imperial city disgorging its thousands along all the roads. 
Far over to the left lay the little hill of Kranoye Selo, the 
parade-ground of the Imperial Guards' summer camp, and the 
Imperial Dairy. In the middle distance nothing broke the flat 
monotony but a few walled monasteries and convents, some 

'. I 

! 1 


isolated factories, and several large buildings with unkempt 
grounds that were asylums and orphanages. . . • 

**Here," said the driver, as we went on over a barren hiD, 
**here was where Vera Slutskaya died. Yes, the Bolshevik 
member of the Duma. It happened early this morning. She 
was in an automobile, with Zalkind and another man. There 
was a truce, and they started for the front trenches. They were 
talking and laughing, when all of a sudden, from the armoured 
train in which Kerensky himself was riding, somebody saw 
the automobile and fired a cannon. The shell struck Vera 
Slutskaya and killed her. . . .'* 

And so we came into Tsarskoye, all bustling with the swag- 
gering heroes of the proletarian horde. Now the palace where the 
Soviet had met was a busy place. Red Guards and sailors filled 
the court-yard, sentries stood at the doors, and a stream of cou- 
riers and Commissars pushed in and out. In the Soviet room 
a samovar had been set up, and fifty or more workers, soldiers, 
sailors and officers stood around, drinking tea and talking at 
the top of their voices. In one comer two clumsy-handed 
workingmen were trying to make a multigraphing machine go. 
At the centre table, the huge Dybenko bent over a map, mark- 
ing out positions for the troops with red and blue pencils. In 
his free hauid he carried, as always, the enormous blue- 
steel revolver. Anon he sat himself down at a typewriter and 
pounded away with one finger; every little while he would pause, 
pick up the revolver, and lovingly spin the chamber. 

A couch lay along the wall, and on this was stretched 
a young workman. Two Red Guards were bending over 
him, but the rest of the company did not pay any atten- 
tion. In his breast was a hole ; through his clothes fresh blood 
came welling up with every heart-beat. His eyes were closed 
and his young, bearded face was greenish-white. Faintly and 
slowly he still breathed, with every breath sighing, **Mir boudit! 
Mir bandit! (Peace is coming! Peace is coming!)'' 


Dybcnko looked up as we came in. ^^Ah," he said to 
Baklanov. ^^Comrade, will you go up to the Commandant's 
headquarters and take charge? Wait; I will write you 
credentials." He went to the typewriter and slowly picked out 
the letters. 

The new Commandant of Tsarskoye Selo and I went toward 
the Ekaterina Palace, Baklanov very excited and important. 
In the same ornate, white room some Red Guards were rum- 
maging curiously around, while. my old friend, the Colonel, 
stood by the window biting his moustache.. He greeted me like 
a long-lost brother. At a table near the door sat the French 
Bessarabian. The Bolsheviki had ordered him to remain, and 
continue his work. 

**What could I do?*' he muttered. "People like myself 
cannot fight on either side in such a war as this, no matter how 
much we may instinctively dislike the dictatorship of the 
mob. ... I only regret that I am so far from my mother in 
Bessarabia !" 

Baklanov was formally taking over the office from the 
Commandant. "Here,*' said the Colonel nervously, "are the 
keys to the desk." 

A Red Guard interrupted. '^Where's the money?" he 
asked rudely. The Colonel seemed surprised. "Money? 
Money? Ah, you mean the chest. There it is," said the 
Colonel, "just as I found it when I took possession three days 
ago. Keys?" The Colonel shrugged. "I have no keys." 

The Red Guard sneered knowingly. **Very convenient," he 

**Let us open the chest," said Baklanov. "Bring an axe. 
Here is an American comrade. Let him smash the chest open, 
and write down what he finds there." 

I swung the axe. The wooden chest was empty. 
**Let*s arrest him," said the Red Guard, venomously. "He 


is Eerensky's man. He has stolen the money and given it to 

Baklanov did not want to. ^^Oh, no," he said. ''It was 
the Eornilovitz before him. He is not to blame. 

"The devil!" cried the Red Guard. "He is Kerensky's 
man, I tell you. If yow won't arrest him, then we will, and 
we'll take him to Petrograd and put him in Peter-Paul, where 
he belongs!" At this the other Red Guards growled assept. 
With a piteous glance at us the Colonel was led away. • • • 

Down in front of the Soviet palace an auto-truck was going 
to the front. Half a dozen Red Guards, some sailors, and a 
soldier or two, under command of a huge workman, clambered 
in, and shouted to me to come along. Red Guards issued from 
headquarters, each of them staggering under an arm-load of 
small, corrugated-iron bombs, filled with grubit — ^which, they 
say, is ten times as strong, and five times as sensitive as dyna- 
mite; these they threw into the truck. A three-inch 
cannon was loaded, and then tied onto the tail of the truck 
with bits of rope and wire. 

We started with a shout, at top speed of course ; the heavy 
truck swaying from side to side. The cannon leaped from one 
wheel to the other, and the grubit bombs went rolling back 
and forth over our feet, fetching up against the sides of the 
car with a crash. 

The big Red Guard, whose name was Vladimir Nicolaie- 
vitch, plied me with questions about America. "Why did 
America come into the war? Are the American workers 
ready to throw over the capitalists? What is the situation in 
the Mooney case now? Will they extradite Berkman to San 
Francisco?" and others, very difficult to answer, all delivered 
in a shout above the roaring of the truck, while we 
held on to each other and danced amid the caroming bombs. 

Occasionally a patrol tried to stop us. Soldiers ran out 


into the road before us, shouted **Shtoir and threw up their 

We paid no attention. **The devil take you!" cried the 
Red Guards. **We don't stop for anybody! We're Red 
Guards!" And we thundered imperiously on, while Vladimir 
Nicolaievitch bellowed to me about the intemationalisation of 
the Panama Canal, and such matters. . . . 

About five miles out we saw a squad of sailors marching 
back, and slowed down. 

"Where's the front, brothers?" 

The foremost sailor halted and scratched his head. "This 
morning," he said, "it was about half a kilometer down the 
road. But the damn thing isn't anywhere now. We walked 
and walked and walked, but we couldn't find it." 

They climbed into the truck, and we proceeded. It must 
have been about a mile further that Vladimir Nicolaievitch 
cocked his ear and shouted to the chaufi^eur to stop. 

"Firing!" he said. "Do you hear it.'^" For a moment dead 
silence, and then, a little ahead and to the left, three shots in 
rapid succession. Along here the side of the road was heavily 
wooded. Very much excited now, we crept along, speaking 
in whispers, until the truck was nearly opposite the place 
where the firing had come from. Descending, we spread out, 
and every man carrying his rifle, went stealthily into the 

Two comrades, meanwhile, detached the cannon and slewed 
it around until it aimed as nearly as possible at our backs. 

It was silent in the woods. The leaves were gone, and the 
tree-trunks were a pale wan colour in the low, sickly autumn 
sun. Not a-thing moved, except the ice of little woodland 
pools shivermg under our feet. Was it an ambush? 

We went uneventfully forward until the trees began to 
thin, and paused. Beyond, in a little clearing, three soldiers 
sat around a small fire, perfectly oblivious. 


Vladimir Nicolaievitch stepped forward. ^Zra^xwityCy 
comrades!" he greeted, while behind him one cannon, twenty 
rifles and a truck-load of grvhit bombs hung by a hair. The 
soldiers scrambled to their feet. 

*What was the shooting going on arounid here?'' 
One of the soldiers answered, looking relieved, **Why we 
were just shooting a rabbit or two, comrade. • • ." 

The truck hurtled on toward Romanov, through the bright, 
empty day. At the first cross-roads two soldiers ran out in 
front of us, waving their rifles. We slowed down, and stopped. 

^Tasses, comrades!" 

The Red Guards raised a great clamour. *We are Red 
Guards. We don't need any passes. ... Go on, never mind 
them !" 

But a sailor objected. "This is wrong, comrades. We 
must have revolutionary discipline. Suppose some counter- 
revolutionaries came along in a truck and said: ^e don't 
need any passes?' The comrades don't know you." 

At this there was a debate. One by one, however, the 
sailors and soldiers joined with the first. Grumbling, each 
Red Guard produced his dirty bvmaga (paper). All were alike 
except mine, which had been issued by the Revolutionary Staff 
at Smolny. The sentries declared that I must go with them. 
The Red Guards objected strenuously, but the sailor who had 
spoken first insisted. "This comrade we know to be a true 
comrade," he said. "But there are orders of the Conmiit- 
tee, and these orders must be obeyed. That is revolutionary 
discipline. . . ." 

In order not to make any trouble, I got down from the 
truck, and watched it disappear careening down the road, all 
the company waving farewell. The soldiers consulted in low 
tones for a moment, and then led me to a waU, against which 


they placed me. It flashed upon me suddenly ; they were going 
to shoot me ! 

In all three directions not a human being was in sight. 
The only sign of life was smoke from the chimney of a datchya^ 
a rambling wooden house a quarter of a mile up the side road. 
The two soldiers were walking out into the road. Desperately 
I ran after them. 

**But comrades! See! Here is the seal of the Military 
Revolutionary Committee !" 

They stared stupidly at my pass, then at each other. 

"It is difl^erent from the others," said one, sullenly. **We 
cannot read, brother." 

I took him by the arm. "Come!" I said. ^TLet's go to 
that house. Some one there can surely read." They hesi- 
tated. "No," said one. The other looked me over. *Why 
not?" he muttered. "After all, it is a serious crime to kill an 
innocent man." 

We walked up to the front door of the house and knocked. 
A short, stout woman opened it, and shrank back in alarm, 
babbling, "I don't know anything about them! I don't know 
anything about them !" One of my guards held out the pass. 
She screamed. "Just to read it, comrade." Hesitatingly she 
took the paper and read aloud, swiftly : 

The bearer of this pass, John Reed, is a representative of the 
American Social-Democracy, an internationalist. . . . 

Out on the road again the two soldiers held another con- 
sultation. "We must take you to the Regimental Committee," 
they said. In the fast-deepening twilight we trudged along 
the muddy road. Occasionally we met squads of soldiers, who 
stopped and surrounded me with looks of menace, handing my 
pass around and arguing violently as to whether or not I should 
be killed. ... 

It was dark when we came to the barracks of the Second 


Tsarskoye Sdo Rifles, low sprawling buildings huddled along 
the post-road. A number of soldiers slouching at the entrance 
asked eager questions. A spy? A provocator? We mounted 
a winding stair and emerged into a great, bare room with a 
huge stove in the centre, and rows of cots on the floor, where 
about a thousand soldiers were playing cards, talking, 
singing, and asleep. In the roof was a jagged hole made by 
Kerensky's cannon. . . . 

I stood in the doorway, and a sudden silence ran among 
the groups, who turned and stared at me. Of a sudden they 
began to move, slowly and then with a rush, thundering, with 
faces full of hate. ^^Comrades ! Comrades !" yelled one of my 
guards. "Committee! Committee!'' The throng halted, 
banked around me, muttering. Out of them shouldered a lean 
youth, wearing a red arm-band. 

"Who is this?" he asked roughly. The guards explained. 
"Give me the paper!" He read it carefully, glancing at me 
with keen eyes. Then he smiled and handed me the pass. 
"Comrades, this is an American comrade. I am Chairman of 
the Committee, and I welcome you to the Regiment. ..." A 
sudden general buzz grew into a roar of greeting, and they 
pressed forward to shake my hand. 

^TTou have not dined? Here we have had our dinner. You 
shall go to the Officers' Club, where there are some who speak 
your language. . . ." 

He led me across the court-yard to the door of another 
building. An aristocratic-looking youth, with the shoulder- 
straps of a Lieutenant, was entering. The Chairman presented 
me, and shaking hands, went back. 

"I am Stepan Georgevitch Morovsky, at your service,'* said 
the Lieutenant, in perfect French. From the ornate entrance- 
hall a ceremonial staircase led upward, lighted by glittering 
lustres. On the second floor billiard-rooms, card-rooms, a li- 
brary opened from the hall. We entered the dining-room, at 


a Jong table in the centre of which sat about twenty officers in 
full uniform, wearing their gold- and silver-handled swords, the 
ribbons and crosses of Imperial decorations. All rose politely 
as I entered, and made a place for me beside the Colonel, a 
large, impressive man with a grizzled beard. Orderlies were 
deftly serving dinner. The atmosphere was that of any of- 
ficers* mess in Europe. Where was the Revolution? 

"You are not Bolshevik! ?" I asked Morovsky. 

A smile went around the table, but I caught one or two 
glancing furtively at the orderly. ^ 

"No," answered my friend. "There is only one Bolshevik 
officer in tjiis regiment. He is in Petrograd to-night. The 
Colonel is a Menshevik. Captain Kherlov there is a Cadet. 
I myself am a Socialist Revolutionary of the right wing. ... 
I should say that most of the officers in the Army are not Bol- \ 

sheviki, but like me they believe in democracy; they believe-"^ 
that they must follow the soldier-masses. . . ." 

Dinner over, maps were brought, and the Colonel spread 
them out on the table. The rest crowded around to see. 

"Here,'* said the Colonel, pointing to pencil marks, "were 
our positions this morning. Vladimir Kyrilovitch, where is 
your company?" 

Captain Kherlov pointed. "According to orders, we occu- 
pied the position along this road. Karsavin relieved me at five 

Just then the door of the room opened, and there entered 
the Chairman of the Regimental Committee, with another sol- 
dier. They joined the group behind the Colonel, paring at 
the map. 

"Good," said the Colonel. "Now the Cossacks have fallen 
back ten kilometres in our sector. I do not think it is neces- 
sary to take up advanced positions. Gentlemen, for to-night 
you will hold the present line, strengthening the positions 
by^ " 


"If you please,** interrupted the Chairman of the Regi- 
mental Committee. **The orders are to advance with all speed, 
and prepare to engage the Cossacks north of Gatchina in the 
morning. A crushing defeat is necessary. Kindly make the 
proper dispositions." 

There was a short silence. The Colonel again turned to 
the map. "Very well," he said, in a different voice. "Stepan 

Georgevitch, you will please " Rapidly tracing lines with 

a blue pencil, he gave his orders, while a sergeant made short- 
hand notes. The sergeant then withdrew, and ten minutes 
later returned with the orders typewritten, and one carbon 
copy. The Chairman of the Committee studied the map with 
a copy of the orders before him. 

"All right," he said, rising. Folding the carbon copy, he 
put it in his pocket. Then he signed the other, stamped it 
with a round seal taken from his pocket, and presented it to 
the Colonel. . . • 

Here was the Revolution! 

I returned to the..Soviet palace in Tsarskoye in the Regi- 
mental Staff automobile. Still the crowds of workers, sol- 
diers and sailors pouring in and out, still the choking press of 
trucks, armoured cars, cannon before the door, and the shout- 
ing, the laughter of unwonted victory. Half a dozen Red 
Guards forced their way through, a priest in the middle. This 
was Father Ivan, they said, who had blessed the Cossacks when 
they entered the town. I heard afterward that he was 
shot. . . .* 


Dybenko was just coming out, giving rapid orders right 
and left. In his hand he carried the big revolver. An auto- 
mobile stood with racing engine at the kerb. Alone, he climbed 
in the rear seat, and was off — off to Gatchina, to conquer Ker- 


Toward nightfall he arrived at the outskirts of the town, 
and went on afoot. What Dybenko told the Cossacks nobody 
knows, but the fact is that General Krasnov and his staff and 
several thousand Cossacks surrendered, and advised Kerensky 
to do the same.*^ 

As for Kerensky — ^I reprint here the deposition made by 
Greneral Krasnov on the morning of November 14th: 

"Gatchina, November 14, 1917. To-day, about three o'clock 
(A. M.), I was summoned by the Supreme Commander (Keren- 
sky). He was very agitated, and very nervous. 

** 'General,' he said to me, 'you have betrayed me. Your Cos- 
sacks declare categorically that they will arrest me and deliver 
me to the sailors.' 

*' 'Yes,' I answered, 'there is talk of it, and I know that you 
have no sympathy anywhere.' 

" 'But the officers say the same thing.' 

" 'Yes, most of all it is the officers who are discontented with 

'"What shall I do? I ought to commit suicide!' 
" 'If you are an honorable man, you will go immediately to 
Petrograd with a white flag, you will present yourself to the Mili- 
tary Revolutionary Committee, and enter into negotiations as Chief 
of the Provisional Government.' 

'All right. I will do that. General.' 

'I will give you a guard and ask that a sailor go with you.' 
'No, no, not a sailor. Do you know whether it is true that 
Dybenko is here.'*' 

'I don't know who Dybenko is.' 
'He is my enemy. 

'There is nothing to do. If you play for high stakes you 
must know how to take a chance.' 
'Yes. I'll leave to-night!' 

'Why? That would be a flight Leave calmly and openly, 
go that every one can see that you are not running away.' 

€i *^ 

« t' 


€t it 



«< n 

'Very well. But you must give me a guard on which I can 

" 'Good.' 

"I went out and called the Cossack Russkov^ of the Tenth 
Regiment of the Don^ and ordered him to pick out ten Cossacks to 
accompany the Supreme Commander. Half an hour later the 
Cossacks came to tell me that Kerensky was not in his quarters^ 
that he had run away. 

"I gave the alarm and ordered that he be searched for^ sup- 
posing that he could not have left Gatchina^ but he could not be 
found. • • .' 


— -H 

/ And sa Kerensky fled, alone, ^^disguised in the uniform of a 
sailor," and by that act lost whatever popularity he had re- 
', t^ed among the Russian masses. • . . 


I went back to Petrograd riding on the front seat of an 
auto truck, driven by a workman and filled with Red Guards. 
We had no kerosene, so our lights were not burning. The 
road was crowded with the proletarian army going home, 
and new reserves pouring out to take their places. Immense 
trucks like ours, columns of artillery, wagons, loomed up in 
the night, without lights, as we were. We hurtled furiously 
on, wrenched right and left to avoid collisions that seemed 
inevitable, scraping wheels, followed by the epithets of pedes- 

Across the horizon spread the glittering lights of the cap- 
ital, immeasurably more splendid by night than by day, like 
a dike of jewels heaped on the barren plain. 

The old workman who drove held the wheel in one hand, 
while with the other he swept the far-gleaming capital in an 
exultant gesture. 

"Mine!" he cried, his face all alight. "All mine now! 
My Petrograd!" 



The Military Revolutionary Committee, with a fierce in- 
tensity, followed up its victory: 

November 14th. 

To all Army^ corps, divisional and regimental Committees, to all 
Soviets of Workers', Soldiers' and Peasants' Deputies, to all, all, 

Conforming to the agreement between the Cossacks, yunkers, 
soldiers, sailors and workers, it has been decided to arraign Alex- 
ander Feodorvitch Kerenskv before a tribunal of the people. We 
demand that Kerensky be arrested, and that he be ordered, in the 
name of the organisations hereinafter mentioned, to come immedi- 
ately to Petrograd and present himself to the tribunal. 


The Cossacks of the First Division of Ussuri 
Cavalry; the Committee of Yunkers of the 
Petrograd detachment of Franc-Tireurs; the 
delegate of the Fifth Army. 

People's Commissar Dtbbnko. 

The Committee for Salvation, the Duma, the Central Com- 
mittee of the Socialist Revolutionary party — ^proudly claim- 
ing Kerensky as a member — all passionately protested that he 
could only be held responsible to the Constituent Assembly. 

On the evening of November 16th I watched two thousand 
Red Guards swing down the Zagorodny Prospekt behind a 
military band playing the Marseillaise — ^and how appropriate 



it sounded — with blood-red flags over the dark ranks of work- 
men, to welcome home again their brothers who had defended 
"Red Petrograd." In the bitter dusk they tramped, men and 
women, their tall bayonets swaying; through streets faintly 
hghted and slippery with mud, between silent crowds of 
bourgeois, contemptuous but fearful. . • . 

All were against them — ^business men, speculators, investors, 
land-owners, army officers, politicians, teachers, students, pro- 
fessional men, shop-keepers, clerks, agents. The other Social- 
ist parties hated the Bolsheviki with an implacable hatred. On 
the side of the Soviets were the rank and file of the workers, 
the sailors, all the undemoralised soldiers, the landless peas- 
ants, and a few — a very few — ^intellectuals. . . . 

From the farthest comers of great Russia, whereupon 
desperate street-fighting burst like a wave, news of Kerensky's 
defeat came echoing back the immense roar of proletarian 
victory. Kazan, Saratov, Novgorod, Vinnitza — ^where the 
streets had run with blood; Moscow, where the Bolsheviki had 
turned their artillery against the last strong^hold of the bour- 
geoisie — the Kremlin. 

"They are bombarding the Kremlin?* The news passed 
from mouth to mouth in the streets of Petrograd, almost with 
a sense of terror. Travellers from "white and shining little 
mother Moscow" told fearful tales. Thousands killed; the 
Tverskaya and the Kuznetsky Most in flames; the church of 
Yasili Blazheiny a smoking ruin; Usspensky Cathedral crum- 
bling down ; the Spasskay a Gate of the Kremlin tottering ; the 
Duma burned to the ground.^ 

Nothing that the Bolsheviki had done could compare with 
this fearful blasphemy in the heart of Holy Russia. To the 
ears of the devout sounded the shock of guns crashing in the 

^ References in this chapter refer to the Appendix to Chapter X. See 
page 353. 


face of the Holy Orthodox Church, and pounding to dust 
the sanctuary of the Russian nation. • . . 

On November 15th, Lunatcharsky, Commissar of Educa- 
tion, broke into tears at the session of the Council of People's 
Commissars, and rushed from the room, crying, ^^I cannot 
stand it ! I cannot bear the monstrous destruction of beauty 
and tradition. ..." 

That afternoon his letter of resignation was published in 
the newspapers: 

I have just been informed, by people arriving from Moscow, 
what has happened there. 

The Cathedral of St. Basil the Blessed, the Cathedral of the 
Assumption, are being bombarded. The Kremlin, where are now 
gathered the most important art treasures of Petrograd and of Mos- 
cow, is under artillery fire. There are thousands of victims. 

The fearful struggle there has reached a pitch of bestial fe- 

What is left? What more can happen? 

J cannot bear this. My cup is full. I am unable to endure these 
horrors. It is impossible to work under the pressure of thoughts 
which drive me mad! 

That is why I am leaving the Council of People's Commissars. 

I fully realise the gravity of this decision. But I can bear no 
more. . . ? 

That same day the White Guards and yvmkers in the Krem- 
lin surrendered, and were allowed to march out unharmed. 
The treaty of peace follows : 

1. The Committee of Public Safety ceases to exist. 

2. The White Guard gives up its arms and dissolves. The 
olBcers retain their swords and regulations side-arms. In the 
Military Schools are retained only the arms necessary for instruc- 
tion; all others are surrendered by the yunkera. The Military 
Revolutionary Committee guarantees the liberty and inviolability 
of the person. 


8. To settle the question of disannament> as set forth in 
section 2, a special commission is appointed^ consisting of repre- 
sentatives from all organisations which took part in the peace 

4. From the moment of the signature of this peace treaty^ 
both parties shall immediately give order to cease firing and halt 
all military operations^ taking measure's to ensure punctual obe- 
dience to this order. 

5. At the signature of the treaty^ all prisoners made by the 
two parties shall be released. . • . 

For two days now the Bolsheviki had been in control of the 
' city. The frightened citizens were creeping out of their cel- 
lars to seek their dead; the barricades in the streets were 
being removed. Instead of diminishing, however, the stories 
of destruction in Moscow continued to grow. . • . And it 
was under the influence of these fearful reports that we decided 
to go there. 

Petrograd, after all, in spite of being for a century the 
seat of Government, is still an artificial city. Mosqow is real 
Russia, Russia as it was and will be ; in Moscow we would get 
the true feeling of the Russian people about the Revolution. 
Life was more intense there. 

For the past week the Petrograd Military Revolutionary 
Committee, aided by the rank and file of the Railway Workers, 
had seized control of the Nicolai Railroad, and hurled train- 
load after trainload of sailors and Red Guards south- 
west. . . . We were provided with passes from Smolny, with- 
out which no one could leave the capital. . • . When the 
train backed into the station, a mob of shabby soldiers, 
all carrying huge sacks of eatables, stormed the doors, smashed 
the windows, and poured into all the compartments, fiUing 
up the aisles and even climbing onto the roof. Three of us 
managed to wedge our way into a compartment, but ahnost 
immediately about twenty soldiers entered. . . . There was 


room for only four people; we argued, expostulated, and the 
conductor joined us — but the soldiers merely laughed. Were 
they to bother about the comfort of a lot of hoorzhm (bour- 
geois)? We produced the passes from Smolny; instantly the 
soldiers changed their attitude. 

"Come, comrades," cried one, "these are American tovar- 
ishtchi. They have come thirty thousand versts to see our 
Revolution, and they are naturally tired. • . .*' 

With polite and friendly apologies the soldiers began to 
leave. Shortly afterward we heard them breaking into a 
compartment occupied by two stout, well-dressed Russians, 
who had bribed the conductor and locked their door. • . . 

About seven o'clock in the evening we drew out of the sta- 
tion, an immense long train drawn by a weak little locomotive 
burning wood, and stumbled along slowly, with many stops. 
The soldiers on the roof kicked with their heels and sang 
wliining peasant songs; and in the corridor, so jammed that 
it was impossible to pass, violent political debates raged all 
night long. Occasionally the conductor came through, as a 
matter of habit, looking for tickets. He found very few except 
ours, and after a half-hour of futile wrangling, lifted his arms 
despairingly and withdrew. The atmosphere was stifling, full 
of smoke and foul odours; if it hadn't been for the broken 
windows we would doubtless have smothered during the night. 

In the morning, hours late, we looked out upon a snowy 
world. It was bitter cold. About noon a peasant woman 
got on with a basket-full of bread-chunks and a great can of 
lake warm cofl^ee-substitute. From then on until dark there 
was nothing but the packed train, jolting and stopping, and 
occasional stations where a ravenous mob swooped down on 
the scantily-furnished buffet and swept it clean. ... At one 
of these halts I ran into Nogin and Rykov, the seceding 
Commissars, who were returning to Moscow to put their 


grievances before their own Soviet;* and further along was 
Bukharin, a short, red-bearded man with the eyes of a fanatic 
— "more Left than Lenin," they said of him. • . • 

Then the three strokes of the bell and we made a rush for 
the train, worming our way through the packed and noisy 
adsle. ... A good-natured crowd, bearing the discomfort 
with humorous patience, interminably arguing about every- 
thing from the situation in Fetrograd to the British Trade- 
Union system, and disputing loudly with the few hoorxhui 
who were on board. Before we reached Moscow almost every 
car had organised a Committee to secure and distribute food, 
and these Committees became divided into political factions, 
who wrangled over fundamental principles. ... 

The station at Moscow was deserted. We went to the 
office of the Commissar, in order to arrange for our return 
tickets. He was a sullen youth with the shoulder-straps of 
a Lieutenant; when we showed him our papers from Smolny, 
he lost his temper and declared that he was no Bolshevik, 
that he represented the Committee of Public Safety. . • . It 
was characteristic — in the general turmoil attending the con- 
quest of the city, the chief railway station had been forgotten 
by the victors. . . . 

Not a cab in sight. A few blocks down the street, how- 
ever, we woke up a grotesquely-padded isvostchik asleep up- 
right on the box of his little sleigh. ^^How much to the centre 
of the town ?" 

He scratched his head. ^^The harim won't be able to find 
a room in any hotel," he said. "But 111 take you around for 
a hundred rubles. . . ." Before the Revolution it cost two! 
We objected, but he simply shrugged his shoulders. **It takes 
a good deal of courage to drive a sleigh nowadays,'' he went 
on. We could not beat him down below fifty. ... As we sped 
along the silent, snowy half-lighted streets, he recounted his j 
•See Chapter XL 


adventures during the six days' fighting. "Driving along, or 
waiting for a fare on the comer," he said, "all of a sudden 
pooffl a cannon ball exploding here, poof! a cannon ball there, 
ratt-ratt! a machine-gun. ... I gallop, the devils shooting 
all around. I get to a nice quiet street and stop, doze a little, 
poofft another cannon ball, ratt-ratt. . . . Devils! Devils! 
Devils! Brrr!" 

In the centre of the town the snow-piled streets were quiet 
with the stillness of convalescence. Only a few arc-lights were 
burning, only a few pedestrians hurried along the side-walks. 
An icy wind blew from the great plain, cutting to the bone. 
At the first hotel we entered an office illuminated by two can- 

**Yes, we have some very comfortable rooms, but all the 
windows are shot out. If the gospodin does not mind a little 
fresh air. . . .'' 

Down the Tverskaya the shop-windows were broken, and 
there were shell-holes and tom-up paving stones in the 
street. Hotel after hotel, all full, or the proprietors still so 
frightened that all they could say was, "No, no, there is no 
room! There is no room!" On the main streets, where the 
great banking-houses and mercantile houses lay, the Bolshevik 
artillery had been indiscriminately efi^ective. As one Soviet 
official told me, "Whenever we didn't know just where the 
ywnkers and White Guards were, we bombarded their pocket- 
books. ..." 

At the big Hotel National they finally took us in; for we 
were foreigners, and the Military Revolutionary Committee had 
promised to protect the dwellings of foreigners. . . . On the 
top floor the manager showed us where shrapnel had shat- 
tered several windows. "The animals !" said he, shaking his 
fist at imaginary Bolsheviki. "But wait ! Their time will come ; 
in just a few days now their ridiculous Government will fall, 
and then we shall make them suffer!" 


We dined at a vegetarian restaurant with the enticixu; 
name, ^^I Eat Nobody," and Tolstoy's picture prominenl 
on the walls, and then sallied out into the streets. 

The headquarters of the Moscow Soviet was in the palace 
of the former Govemor-Greneral, an imposing white building 
fronting Skobeliev Square. Red Guards stood sentry at the 
door. At the head of the wide, formal stairway, whose walls 
were plastered with announcements of committee-meetings and 
addresses of political parties, we passed through a series of 
lofty ante-rooms, hung with red-shrouded pictures in gold 
frames, to the splendid state salon, with its magnificent crystal 
lustres and gilded cornices. A low-voiced hum of talk, under- 
laid with the whirring bass of a score of sewing machines, 
filled the place. Huge bolts of red and black cotton cloth 
were unrolled, serpentining across the parqueted floor and 
over tables, at which sat half a hundred women, cutting and 
sewing streamers and banners for the Funeral of the Revolu- 
tionary Dead. The faces of these women were roughened and 
scarred with life at its most difficult ; they worked now sternly, 
many of them with eyes red from weeping. • • • The losses of 
the Red Army had been heavy. 

At a desk in one corner was Rogov, an intelligent, bearded 
man with glasses, wearing the black blouse of a worker. He 
invited us to march with the Central Executive Committee 
in the funeral procession next morning. . . . 

^^It is impossible to teach the Socialist Revolutionaries and 
the Mensheviki anything!" he exclaimed. "They compromise 
from sheer habit. Imagine! They proposed that we hold a 
joint funeral with the yunkers!*^ 

Across the hall came a man in a ragged soldier-coat and 
shapka, whose face was familiar; I recognised Melnichansky, 
whom I had known as the watch-maker George, Melcher in 
Bayonne, New Jersey, during the great Standard Oil strike. 
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ers' Union, and a Commissar of the Military Revolutionary 
Committee during the fighting. . , . 

"You see me!" he cried, showing his decrepit clothing. 
"I was with the boys in the Kremlin when the yv/nikers came 
the first time. They shut me up in the cellar and swiped 
my overcoat, my money, watch and even the ring on my 
finger. This is all I've got to wear!" 

From him I learned many details of the bloody six-day 


battle which had rent Moscow in two. Unlike in Petrograd, 
in Moscow the City Duma had taken command of the ywnikers 
and White Guards. Rudnev, the Mayor, and Minor, presi- 
dent of the Duma, had directed the activities of the Conunittee 
of Public Safety and the troops. Riabtsev, Commandant of 
the city, a man of democratic instincts, had hesitated about 
opposing the Military Revolutionary Committee; but the Du- 
ma had forced him. ... It was the Mayor who had urged 
the occupation of the Kremlin; "They will never dare fire 
on you there," he said. . . . 

One garrison regiment, badly demoralised by long inactiv- 
ity, had been approached by both sides. The regiment held 
a meeting to decide what action to take. Resolved, that the 
regiment remain neutral, and continue its present activities — 
which consisted in peddling rubbers and sunflower seeds! 

"But worst of all,'' said Melnichansky, "we had to organ- 
ise while we were fighting. The other side knew just what it 
wanted ; but here the soldiers had their Soviet and the workers 
theirs. . . . There was a fearful wrangle over who should be 
Commander-in-chief; some regiments talked for days before 
they decided what to do; and when the officers suddenly de- 
serted us, we had no battle-staff to give orders. . . .'* 

Vivid little pictures he gave me. On a cold grey day he 
had stood at a comer of the Nikitskaya, which was swept by 
blasts of machine-gun fire. A throng of little boys were 
gathered there — street waifs who used to be newsboys. Shrill, 


excited as if with a new game, thej waited until the firing 
slackened, and then tried to run across the street. . • . Many 
were killed, but the rest dashed backward and forward, laugh- 
ing, daring each other. . . • 

Late in the evening I went to the Dvorianskoye Sobranie — 
the Nobles' Club— where the Moscow Bolsheviki were to meet 
and consider the report of Nogin, Rykov and the others who 
had left the Council of People's Commissars. 

The meeting-place was a theatre, in which, under the old re- 
gime, to audiences of officers and glittering ladies, amateur pres- 
entations of the latest French comedy had once taken place. 

At first the place filled with the intellectuals — those who 
lived near the centre of the town. Nogin spoke, and most of 
his listeners were plainly with him. It was very late before 
the workers arrived; the working-class quarters were on the 
outskirts of the town, and no street-cars were running. But 
about midnight they began to clump up the stairs, in groups 
of ten or twenty — ^big, rough men, in coarse clothes, fresh from 
the battle-line, where they had fought like devils for a week, 
seeing their comrades fall all about them. 

Scarcely had the meeting formally opened before Nogin 
was assailed with a tempest of jeers and angry shouts. In 
vain he tried to argue, to explain ; they would not listen. He 
had left the Council of People's Commissars; he had deserted 
his post while the battle was raging. As for the bourgeois 
press, here in Moscow there was no more bourgeois press ; even 
the City Duma had been dissolved.* Bukharin stood up, sav- 
age, logical, with a voice which plunged and struck, plunged 
and struck. . . . Him they listened to with shining eyes. 
Resolution, to support the action of the Council of People's 
Commissars, passed by overwhelming majority. So spoke 
Moscow. ... 

Late in the night we went through the empty streets and 
under the Iberian Gate to the great Red Square in front of 


Mtiin I CoiRiTunt 


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HlUtarr-Snolntianiry Committee 

attached to the 

Moicow Soviet of 

Worken' and Soldien' 


Hoacow, TvenksTa, 

HauM of the former 

Governor Cenerml 

NoTember lo, 1917 

Bt thi. theMUitarr Revolutioniry Committ« requeiti to gi*e t p... for tbe 
«wc of inveitigaling thi Kremlm. to the reprtKntiJive. of thf AmerSn sSrfiffit 
r attached to (he SnH>ll« nr.« .^,...a..o^a —^ ii-„.° '"nencan socuuR 

I'tionarv Committee 
For the Secretary 

partr attached to the Sodatiat preta, comrades Reed inu DTyani 

Chief of the Military Rerolutionj 


the Kremlin. The church of Vasili Blazheiny loomed fantastic, 
its bright-coloured, convoluted and blazoned cupolas vague in 
the darkness. There was no sign of any damage. • . • Along 
one side of the square the dark towers and walls of the Krem- 
lin stood up. On the high walls flickered redly the light of \ 
hidden flames; voices reached us across the immense place, 
and the sound of picks and shovels. We crossed over. 

Mountains of dirt and rock were piled high near the 
base of the wall. Climbing these we looked down into two 
massive pits, ten or fifteen feet deep' and fifty yards long, 
where hundreds of soldiers and workers were digging in the 
light of huge fires. 

A young student spoke to us in German. "The Brother- 
hood Grave," he explained. "To-morrow we shall bury here 
five hundred proletarians who died for the Revolution.'* 

He took us down into the pit. In frantic haste swung 
the picks and shovels, and the earth-mountains grew. No 
one spoke. Overhead the night was thick with stars, and the 
ancient Imperial Kremlin wall towered up immeasurably. 

"Here in this holy place," said the student, "holiest of 
all Russia, we shall bury our most holy. Here where 
are the tombs of the Tsars, our Tsar — the People — shaE 
sleep. . • ." His arm was in a sling, from a bullet-wound 
gained in the fighting. He looked at it. "You foreigners j 
look down on us Russians because so long we tolerated a % 
mediseval monarchy," said he. "But we saw that the Tsar "^ 
was not the only tyrant in the world; capitalism was worse, >^ 
and in all the countries of the world capitalism was Emper- r' 
or. . . . Russian revolutionary tactics are best. ..." "^ 

As we left, the workers in the pit, exhausted and running 
with sweat in spite of the cold, began to climb wearily out. 
Across the Red Square a dark knot of men came hurrying. 
They swarmed into the pits, picked up the tools and began 
digging, digging, without a word. . • • '^ 


So, all the long night volunteers of the People relieved 
each other, never halting in their driving speed, and the cold 
light of the dawn laid bare the great Square, white with Bnow, 
and the yawning brown pits of the Brotherhood Grave, quite 

We rose before sunrise, and hurried through the dark 
streets to Skobeliev Square. In all the great city not a human 
being could be seen; but there was a faint sound of stirring, 
far and near, like a deep wind coming. In the pale half-light 
a little group of men and women were gathered before the 
Soviet headquarters, with a sheaf of gold-lettered red banners 
— the Central Executive Committee of the Moscow Soviets. It 
grew light. From afar the vague stirring sound deepened and 
became louder, a steady and tremendous bass. The city was 
rising. We set out down the Tverskaya, the banners flapping 
overhead. The little street chapels along our way were locked 
and dark, as was the Chapel of the Iberian Vir^n, which each 
new Tsar used to visit before he went to the Kremlin to crown 
himself, and which, day or night, was always open and crowded, 
and brilliant with the candles of the devout gleaming on the 
gold and silver and jewels of the ikons. Now, for the first time 
since Napoleon was in Moscow, they say, the candles were 

The Holy Orthodox Church had withdrawn the light of its 
countenance from Moscow, the nest of irreverent vipers who 
had bombarded the Kremlin. Dark and silent and cold were 
the churches; the priests had disappeared. There were no 
popes to officiate at the Red Burial, there had been no sacra- 
ment for the dead, nor were any prayers to be said over the 
grave of the blasphemers. Tikhon, Metropolitan of Moscow, 
was soon to excommunicate the Soviets. . . . 

Also the shops were closed, and the propertied classes 
stayed at hojne — ^but for other reasons. This was the Day of 

MOSCX)W 857 

the People, the rumour of whose coming was thunderous as 
surf. . • • 

Already through the Iberian Gate a hmnan river was 
flowing, and the vast Red Square was spotted with })eople, 
thousands of them. I remarked that as the throng passed the 
Iberian Chapel, where always before the passerby had crossed 
himself, they did not seem to notice it. • . . 

We forced our way through the dense mass packed near 
the Kremlin wall, and stood upon one of the dirt-mountains. 
Already several men were there, among them Muranov, the 
soldier who had been elected Commandant of Moscow — a tall, 
simple-looking, bearded man with a gentle face. 

Tlirough all the streets to the Red Square the torrents 
of people poured, thousands upon thousands of them, all with 
the look of the poor and the toiling. A military band came 
marching up, playing the Internationale^ and spontaneously the 
song caught and spread like wind-ripples on a sea, slow and 
solemn. From the top of the Kremlin wall gigantic ban- 
ners unrolled to the ground; red, with great letters in gold 
and in white, saying, "Martyrs of the Beginning of World 
Social Revolution," and ^Long Live the Brotherhood of 
Workers of the World.'* 

A bitter wind swept the Square, lifting the banners. Now 
from the far quarters of the city the workers of the different 
factories were arriving, with their dead. They could be seen 
coming through the Gate, the blare of their banners, and the 
dull red — ^like blood — of the coffins they carried. These were 
rude boxes, made of unplaned wood and daubed with crimson, 
borne high on the shoulders of rough men who marched with 
tears streaming down their faces, and followed by women 
who sobbed and screamed, or walked stiffly, with white, dead 
faces. Some of the coffins were open, the lid carried behind 
them; otherfe were covered with gilded or silvered cloth^ or 


had a soldier's hat nailed on the top. There were many 

wreaths of hideous artificial flowers. . • • 

Through an irregular lane that opened and closed again 
the procession slowly moved toward us. Now through the 
Gate was flowing an endless stream of banners, all shades of 
red, with silver and gold lettering, knots of crepe hanging 
from the top — and some Anarchist flags, black with white 
letters. The band was playing the Revolutionary Funeral 
March, and against the immense singing of the mass of people, 
standing uncovered, the paraders sang hoarsely, choked with 
sobs. . • • 

Between the factory-workers came companies of soldiers 
with their coffins, too, and squadrons of cavalry, riding at 
salute, and artillery batteries, the cannon wound with red 
and black — forever, it seemed. Their banners said, ^Xong 
live the Third International !'* or **We Want an Honest, Gen- 
eral, Democratic Peace !" 

Slowly the marchers came with their cofBns to the entrance 
of the grave, and the bearers clambered up with their burdens 
and went down into the pit. Many of them were women — 
squat, strong proletarian women. Behind the dead came other 
women — ^women young and broken, or old, wrinkled women 
making noises like hurt animals, who tried to follow their sons 
and husbands into the Brotherhood Grave, and shrieked when 
compassionate hands restrained them. The poor love each 
other so! 

All the long day the funeral procession passed, coming in 
by the Iberian Gate and leaving the Square by way of the 
Nikolskaya, a river of red banners, bearing words of hope and 
brotherhood and stupendous prophecies, against a back-ground 
of fifty thousand people, — under the eyes of the world's 
workers and their descendants forever. • . • 

One by one the five hundred coffins were laid in the pits. 
Dusk fell, and still the banners came drooping and fluttering, 


the band played the Funeral March, and the huge assemblage 
chanted. In the leafless branches of the trees above the grave 
the wreaths were hung, like strange, multi-coloured blossoms. 
Two hundred men began to shovel in the dirt. It rained dully 
down upon the coffins with a thudding sound, audible beneath 
the singing. ... 

The lights came out. The last banners passed, and the 
last moaning women, looking back with awful intensity as they 
went. Slowly from the great Square ebbed the proletarian 
tide. . . . 

I suddenly realised that the devout Russian people no 
longer needed priests to pray them into heaven. On earth they 
were building a kingdom more bright than any heaven had to 
offer, and for which it was a glory to die. ... 




. . • The first Congress of Soviets^ in June of this year, pro- 
claimed the right of the peoples of Russia to self-determination. 

The second Congress of Soviets, in November last, confirmed 
this inalienable right of the peoples of Russia more decisively and 
definitely. , 

Executing the will of these Congresses, the Council of Peo- 
ple's Commissars has resolved to establish as a basis for its actlvit|r 
in the question of Nationalities, the following principles: 

(1) The equality and sovereignty of the peoples of Russia. 

(2) The right of the peoples of Russia to free self-determma- 
tion, even to the point of separation and the formation of an inde- 
pendent state. 

(S) The abolition of any and all national and national- 
religious privileges and disabilities. 

(4) The free development of national minorities and ethno- 
graphic groups inhabiting the territory of Russia. 

Decrees will be prepared immediately upon the formation of 
a Commission on Nationalities. 

In the name of the Russian Republic, 

People's Commissar for Nationalities 
Yussov Djuoashvili-Stalin 
President of the Council of People's Commissars 

V. Ulianov (Lenin) 

The Central Rada at Kiev immediately declared Ukraine an 

independent Republic, as did the Government of Finland^ 

^ References in this chapter refer to the Appendix to Cluster XL 
See page 355. 



through the Senate at Helsingfors. Independent "Gavem- 
ments" spring up in Siberia and the Caucasus. The Polish 
Chief Military Committee swiftly gathered together the Polish 
troops in the Russian army, abolished their Committees and 
established an iron discipline. • . . 

All these "Governments" and *^ovements" bad two char- 
acteristics in common; they were controlled by the propertied 
classes, and they feared and detested Bolshevism. • • • 

Steadily, amid the chaos of shocking change, the Council 
of People's Commissars hammered at the scaffolding of the 
Socialist order. Decree on Social Insurance, on Workers' 
Control, Regulations for Volost Land Committees, Abolition 
of Ranks and Titles, Abolition of Courts and the Creation of 
People's Tribunals. . . .* 

Army after army, fleet after fleet, sent deputations, **joy- 
fully to greet the new Government of the People." 

In front of Smolny, one day, I saw a ragged regiment just 
come from the trenches. The soldiers were drawn up before 
the great gates, thin and grey-faced, looking up at the build- 
ing as if God were in it. Some pointed out the Imperial eagles 
over the door, laughing. • • . Red Guards came to mount 
guard. All the soldiers turned to look, curiously, as if they 
had heard of them but never seen them. They laughed good- 
naturedly and pressed out of line to slap the Red Guards on 
the back, with half-joking, half -admiring remarks. . • . 

The Provisional Government was no more. On November 
15th, in all the churches of the capital, the priests stopped 
praying for it. But as Lenin himself told the Tsay-ee-kah, that 
was **only the beginning of the conquest of power." Deprived 
of arms, the opposition, which still controlled the economic life 
of the country, settled down to organise disorganisation, with 
all the Russian genius for cooperative action — to obstruct, crip- 
ple and discredit the Soviets. 

The strike of Government employees was weU organised. 


financed by the banks and commercial establishments. Every 
move of the Bolsheviki to take over the Grovernment apparatus 
was resisted. 

Trotzky went to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs ; the f imc- 
tionaries refused to recognise him, locked themselves in, and 
when the doors were forced, resigned. He demanded the keys 
of the archives; only when he brought workmen to force the 
locks were they given up. Then it was discovered that Neratov, 
former assistant Foreign Minister, had disappeared with the 
Secret Treaties. ... 

Shliapnikov tried to take possession of the Ministry of 
Labour. It was bitterly cold, and there was no one to light 
the fires. Of all the hundreds of employees, not one^ould 
show him where the office of the Minister was. • . . 

Alexandra KoUontai, appointed the ISth of November 
Commissar of Public Welfare — the department of charities and 
public institutions — ^was welcomed with a strike of all but 
forty of the functionaries in the Ministry. Immediately the 
poor of the great cities, the inmates of institutions, were 
plunged in miserable want : delegations of starving cripples, of 
orphans with blue, pinched faces, besieged the building. With 
tears streaming down her face, KoUontai arrested the strikers 
until they should deliver the keys of the office and the safe; 
when she got the keys, however, it was discovered that the for- 
mer Minister, Countess Panina, had gone off with all the 
funds, which she refused to surrender except on the order of 
the Constituent Assembly.* * 

In the Ministry of Agriculture, the Ministry of Supplies, 
the Ministry of Finance, similar incidents occurred. And the 
employees, summoned to return or forfeit their positions and 
their pensions, either stayed away or returned to sabotage. . . . 
Almost all the intelligentzia being anti-Bolshevik, there was 
nowhere for the Soviet Government to recruit new staffs. . . . 

The private banks remained stubbornly closed, with a back 


door open. for speculators. When Bolshevik Commissars en- 
tered, the clerks left, secreting the books and removing the 
funds. All the employees of the State Bank struck except the 
clerks in charge of the vaults and the manufacture of money, 
who refused all demands from Smolny and privately paid out 
huge sums to the Committee for Salvation and the City Duma. 

Twice a Commissar, with a company of Red Guards, 
came formally to insist upon the delivery of large sums for 
Government expenses. The first time, the City Duma members 
and the Menshevik and Socialist Revolutionary leaders were 
present in imposing numbers, and spoke so gravely of the con- 
sequences that the Commissar was frightened. The second time 
he arrived with a warrant, which he proceeded to read aloud in 
due form ; but some one called his attention to the fact that it 
had no date and no seal, and the traditional Russian respect for 
"documents" forced him again to withdraw. . . . 

The officials of the Credit Chancery destroyed their books, 
so that all record of the financial relations of Russia with for- 
eign countries was lost. 

The ^Supply Committees, the administrations of the Munici- 
pal-owned public utilities, either did not work at all, or sabot- 
aged. And when the Bolsheviki, compelled by the desperate 
needs of the city population, attempted to help or to control 
the public service, all the employees went on strike imme- 
diately, and the Duma flooded Russia with telegrams about 
Bolshevik "violation of Municipal autonomy." 

At Military headquarters, and in the offices of the Ministries 
of War and Marine, where the old officials had consented to 
work, the Army Committees and the high command blpcked the 
Soviets in every way possible, even to the extent of neglecting 
the troops at the front. The Vikzhel was hostile, refusing to 
transport §oviet troops ; every troop-train that left Petrograd 
was taken out by force, and railway officials had to be arrested 


each time — ^whereupon the Vikzhel threatened an immediate 
general strike unless they were released. • • . 

Smolny was plainly powerless. The newspapers said that 
all the factories of Petrograd must shut down for lack of fuel 
in three weeks; the Vikzhel announced that trains must cease 
running by December first ; there was food for three days only 
in Petrograd, and no more coming in; and the Army on the 
Front was starving. • • • The Committee for Salvation, the 
various Central Committees, sent word all over the country, 
exhorting the population to ignore the Government decrees. 
And the Allied Embassies were either coldly indi£Perent, or 
openly hostile. • • . 

The opposition newspapers, suppressed one day and re- 
appearing next morning under new names, heaped bitter sar- 
casm on the new regime.^ Even Novaya Zhizn characterised 
it as ^^a combination of demagoguery and impotence.^ 


From day to day (it said) the Government of the People's Com- 
missars sinks deeper and deeper into the mire of superficial haste. 
Having easily conquered the power . . . the Bolsheviki can not 
make use of it 

Powerless to direct the existing mechanism of Government^ 
they are unable at the same time to create a new one which might 
work easily and freely according to the theories of social experi- 

Just a little while ago the Bolsheviki hadn't enough men to 
run their growing party — a work above all of speakers and writ- 
ers; where then are they going to find trained men to execute the 
diverse and complicated functions of government? 

The new Government acts and threatens^ it sprajrs the country 
with decrees^ each one more radical and more "socialist" than the 
last. But in this exhibition of Socialism on Paper — more likely 
designed for the stupefaction of our descendants — ^there appears 
neither the desire nor the capacity to solve the immediate prob- 
lems of the day! 


Meanwhile the VikzheVs Conference to Form a New Govern- 
ment continued to meet night and day. Both sides had already 
agreed in principle to the basis of the Government; the com- 
position of the People's Council was being discussed ; the Cabi- 
net was tentatively chosen, with Tchernov as Premier ; the Bol- 
sheviki were admitted in a large minority, but Lenin and 
Trotzky were barred. The Central Committees of the Men- 
shevik and Socialist Revolutionary parties, the Executive Com- 
mittee of the Peasants' Soviets, resolved that, although unalter- 
ably opposed to the "criminal politics" of the Bolsheviki, they 
would, "in order to halt the fratricidal bloodshed," not oppose 
their entrance into the People's Council. 

The flight of Kerehsky, however, and the astounding success 
of the Soviets everywhere, altered the situation. On the 16th, 
in a meeting of the Tsay-ee-kah, the Left Socialist Revolutiona- 
ries insisted that the Bolsheviki should form a coalition Govern- 
ment with the other Socialist parties; otherwise they would 
withdraw from the Military Revolutionary Committee and the 
Tsay-ee-kdh. Malkin said, "The news from Moscow, where our 
comrades are dying on both sides of the barricades, determines 
us to bring up once more the question of organisation of power, 
and it is not only our right to do so, but our duty. . . . We 
have won the right to sit with the Bolsheviki here within the 
walls of Smolny Institute, and to speak from this tribune. 
After the bitter internal party struggle, we shall be obliged, 
if you refuse to compromise, to pass to open battle out- 
side. . . . We must propose to the democracy terms of an 
acceptable compromise. . . ." 

After a recess to consider this ultimatum, the Bolsheviki 
returned with a resolution, read by Kameniev : 

The Ttay-ee-kah considers it necessary that there enter into the 
Government representatives oi all the Socialist parties composing 
the Soviets of Workers', Soldiers* and Peasants' Deputies who rec 


ognise the conquests of the Revolution of November 7th — that U 
to say, the establishment of a Government of Soviets, the decrees 
on peace, land, workers* control over industry, and the arming of 
the working-class. The Tsay-ee-kah therefore resolves to propose 
negotiations concerning the constitution of the Government to all 
parties of the Soviet, and insists upon the following conditions as a 

The Government is responsible to the Tsay-ee-kah. The Tsay- 
ee-kah shall be enlarged to 150 members. To these 150 delegates 
of the Soviets of Workers' and Soldiers' Deputies shall be added 
75 delegates of the Provincial Soviets of Peasants' Deputies^ 80 
from the Front organisations of the Army and Navy^ 40 from the 
Trade Unions (25 from the various All-Russian Unions^ in 
proportion to their importance^ 10 from the Vikzhel, and 5 from 
the Post and Telegraph Workers)^ and 50 delegates from the So- 
cialist groups in the Petrograd City Duma. In the Ministry it- 
self^ at least one-half the portfolios must be reserved to the Bolshe- 
viki. The Ministries of Labour^ Interior and Foreign Affairs must 
be given to the Bolsheviki. The command of the garrisons of Pet- 
rograd and Moscow must remain in the hands of delegates of 
the Moscow and Petrograd Soviets. 

The Government undertakes the systematic arming of the work- 
ers of all Russia. 

It is resolved to insist upon the candidature of comrades Lenin 
and Trotzky. 

Kameniev explained. "The so-called Teople's Council,'" 
he said, "proposed by the Conference, would consist of about 
4S0 members, of which about 150 would be Bolsheviki. Besides, 
there would be delegates from the counter-revolutionary old 
Tsay-ee-kahj 100 members chosen by the Municipal Dumas — 
Komilovtsi all; 100 delegates from the Peasants' Soviets — 
appointed by Avksentiev, and 80 from the old Army Commit- 
tees, who no longer represent the soldier masses. 

**We refuse to admit the old Tsay-ee-kah^ and also the rep- 
resentatives of the Municipal Dumas. The delegates from the 


Peasants' Soviets shall be elected by the Congress of Peasants, 
which we have called, and which will at the same time elect a 
new Executive Committee. The proposal to exclude Lenin and 
Trotzky is a proposal to decapitate our party, and we do not 
accept it. And finally, we see no necessity for a Teople's 
Council' anyway ; the Soviets are open to all Socialist parties, 
and the Taay-ee-kdh represents them in their real proportions 
among the masses. . . ." 

Karelin, for the Left Socialist Revolutionaries, declared 
that his party would vote for the Bolshevik resolution, reserv- 
ing the right to modify certain details, such as the representa- 
tion of the peasants, and demanding that the Ministry of 
Agriculture be reserved for the Left Socialist Revolutionaries. 
This was agreed to. . . . 

Later, at a meeting of the Petrograd Soviet, Trotzky an- 
swered a question about the formation of the new Government : 

**I don't know anything about that. I am not taking part 
in the negotiations. . . . However, I don't think that they are 
of great importance. . . ." 

That night there was great uneasiness in the Conference. 
The delegates of the City Duma withdrew. . . . 

But at Smolny itself, in the ranks of the Bolshevik party, 
a formidable opposition to Lenin's policy was growing. On 
the night of November 17th the great hall was packed and 
ominous for the meeting of the Tsay-ee-kah. 

Larin, Bolshevik, declared that the moment of elections to 
the Constituent Assembly approached, and it was time to do 
away with "political terrorism." 

"The measures taken against the freedom of the press 
should be modified. They had their reason during the struggle, 
but now they have no further excuse. The press should be 
free, except for appeals to riot and insurrection." 

In a storm of hisses and hoots from his own party, Larin 
offered the following resolution: 


The decree of the Council of People's Commissars concerning 
the Press is herewith repealed. 

Measures of political repression can only be employed sub- 
ject to decision of a special tribunal^ elected by the T^ay-ee-hah 
proportionally to the strength of the different parties represented; 
and this tribunal shall have the right also to reconsider measures 
of repression already taken. 

This was met by a thunder of applause, not only from the 
Left Socialist Revolutionaries, but also from a part of the Bol- 

Avanessov, for the Leninites, hastily proposed that the 
question of the Press be postponed until after some com- 
promise between the Socialist parties had been reached. Over- 
whelmingly voted down. 

^^The revolution which is now being accomplished," w^it 
on Avanessov, "has not hesitated to attack private property ; 
and it is as private property that we must examine the quefi^k|ili 
of the Press. . . ." 

Thereupon he read the official Bolshevik resolution: 

The suppression of the bourgeois press was dictated not only 
by purely military needs in the course of the insurrection^ and for 
the checking of counter-revolutionary action^ but it is also neces- 
sary as a measure of transition toward the establishment of a new 
r6gime with regard to the Press — a regime under which the capi- 
talist owners of printing-presses and of paper cannot be the all- 
powerful and exclusive manufacturers of public opinion. 

We must further proceed to the confiscation of private printing 
plants and supplies of paper^ which should become the property 
of the Soviets^ both in the capital and in the provinces^ so that 
the political parties and groups can make use of the facilities of 
printing in proportion to the actual strength of the ideas they rep- 
resent — ^in other words^ proportionally to the number of their con- 

The reestablishment of the so-called "freedom of the press/* 


the simple return of printing presses and paper to the capitalists^ 
— poisoners of the mind of the people — this would be an inadmis- 
sible surrender to the will of capital^. a giving up of one of the 
most important conquests of the Revolution; in other words^ it 
would be a measure of unquestionably counter-revolutionary char- 

Proceeding from the above, the Tsay-ee-kah categorically re- 
jects all propositions aiming at the reestablishment of the old 
regime in the domain of the Press, and unequivocally supports the 
point of view of the Council of People's Commissars on this ques- 
tion, against pretentions and ultimatums dictated by petty bour- 
geois prejudices, or by evident surrender to the interests of the 
counter-revolutionary bourgeoisie. 

The reading of this resolution was interrupted by ironical 
shouts from the Left Socialist Revolutionaries, and bursts of 
indignation from the insurgent Bolsheviki. Karelin was on 
his feet, protesting. "Three weeks ago the Bolsheviki were the 
most ardent defenders of the freedom of the Press. . . The 
arguments in this resolution suggest singularly the point of 
view of the old Black Hundreds and the censors of the Tsarist 
regime — for they also talked of ^poisoners of the mind of the 
people.' " 

Trotzky spoke at length in favour of the resolution. He 
distinguished between the Press during the civil war, and 
the Press after the victory. "During civil war the right to 
use violence belongs only to the oppressed. . . .*' (Cries of 
**Who'8 the oppressed now.** Cannibal!"). 

"The victory over our adversaries is not yet achieved, and 
the newspapers are arms in their hands. In these condi- 
tions, the closing of the newspapers is a legitimate measure 
of defence. • . ." Then passing to the question of the Press 
after the victory, Trotzky continued : 

"The attitude of Socialists on the question of freedom 
of the Press should be the same as their attitude toward the 


freedom of business. • • • The rule of the democracy which 
is being established in Russia demands that the domination 
of the Press by private property must be abolished, just as 
the domination of industry by private property. . . . The 
power of the Soviets should confiscate all printing-plants." 
(Cries, "Confiscate the printing-shop of Pravdal**) 

"The monopoly of the Press by the bourgeoisie must be 
abolished. Otherwise it isn't worth while for us to take the 
power! Each group of citizens should have access to print- 
shops and paper. . • • The ownership of print-type and of 
paper belongs first to the workers and peasants, and only 
afterwards to the bourgeois parties, which are in a minor- 
ity. . . . The passing of the power into the hands of the 
Soviets will bring about a radical transformal^on of the 
essential conditions of existence, and this transformation will 
necessarily be evident in the Press. ... If we are going to 
nationalise the banks, can we then tolerate the financial jour- 
nals? The old regime must die; that must be understood 
once and for all. . . ." Applause and angry cries. 

Karelin declared that the Taay-ee-kah had no right to pass 
upon this important question, which should be left to a 
special committee. Again, passionately, he demanded that 
the Press be free. 

Then Lenin, calm, unemotional, his forehead wrinkled, as 
he spoke slowly, choosing his words ; each sentence falling like 
a hammer-blow. "The civil war is not yet finished ; the enemy 
is still with us; consequently it is impossible to abolish the 
measures of repression against the Press. 

"We Bolsheviki have always said that when we reached a 
position of power we would close the bourgeois press. To 
tolerate the bourgeois newspapers would mean to cease being 
a Socialist. When one makes a Revolution, one cannot mark 
time; one must always go forward — or go back. He who 


now talks about the ^freedom of the Press' goes backward, and 
halts our headlong course toward Socialism. 

"We have thrown off the yoke of capitalism, just as the 
first revolution threw off the yoke of Tsarism. If the first 
revolution had the right to suppress the Monarchist papers, 
then we have the right to suppress the bourgeois press. It is 
impossible to separate the question of the freedom of the 
Press from the other questions of the class struggle. We 
have promised to close these newspapers, and we shall do it. 
The immense majority of the people is with us! 

"Now that the insurrection is over, we have absolutely 
no desire to suppress the papers of the other Socialist par- 
ties, except inasmuch as they appeal to armed insurrec- 
tion, or to disobedience to the Soviet Government. How- 
ever, we shall not permit them, under the pretence of free- 
dom of the Socialist press, to obtain, through the secret sup- 
port of the bourgeoisie, a monopoly of printing-presses, ink 
and paper. . . . These essentials must become the property 
of the Soviet Government, and be apportioned, first of all, 
to the Socialist parties in strict proportion to their voting 
strength. ..." 

Then the vote. The resolution of Larin and the Left 
Socialist Revolutionaries was defeated by 31 to SS ; the Lenin 
motion was carried by 34 to 24. Among the minority were 
1 the Bolsheviki Riazanov and Lozovsky, who declared that it 
was impossible for them to vote against any restriction on 
the freedom of the Press. 

Upon this the Left Socialist Revolutionaries declared they 
could no longer be responsible for what was being done, and 
withdrew from the Military Revolutionary Committee and all 
other positions of executive responsibility. 

Five members — Nogin, Rykov, Miliutin, Teodorovitch and 
Shiapnikov — resigned from the Council of People's Com- 
missars, declaring: 


We are in favour of a Socialist Government composed of all 
the parties in the Soviets. We consider that only the creation of 
such a Government can possibly guarantee the results of the heroic 
struggle of the working-class and the revolutionary army. Out- 
side of that^ there remains only one way: the constitution of a 
purely Bolshevik Government by means of political terrorism. 
This last is the road taken by the Council of People's Commissars. 
We cannot and will not follow it. We see that this leads directly 
to the elimination from political life of many proletarian organi- 
sations^ to the establishment of an irresponsible r6gime^ and to the 
destruction of the Revolution and the country. We cannot take 
the responsibility for such a policy^ and we renounce before the 
Tsay-ee-hah our function as People's Commissars. 

Other Commissars, without resigning their positions, signed 
the declaration — Riazanov, Derbychev of the Press Department, 
Arbuzov, of the Government Printing^plant, Yureniev, of the 
Red Guard, Feodorov, of the Commissariat of Labour, and La- 
rin, secretary of the Section of Elaboration of Decrees. 

At the same time Kameniev, Rykov, Miliutin, Zinoviev 
and Nogin resigned from the Central Committee of the Bol- 
shevik party, making public their reasons: 

. . . The constitution of such a Government (composed of all 
the parties of the Soviet) is indispensable to prevent a new flow 
of bloody the coming famine^ the destruction of the Revolution by 
the Kaledinists^ to assure the convocation of the Constituent As- 
sembly at the proper time^ and to apply effectively the programme 
adopted by the Congress of Soviets. . . . 

We cannot accept the responsibility for the disastrous policy of 
the Central Committee^ carried on against the will of an enormous 
majority of the proletariat and the soldiers, who are eager to see 
the rapid end of the bloodshed between the different political par- 
ties of the democracy. . . . We renounce our title as members of 
the Central Committee, in order to be able to say openly our opin- 
ion to the masses of workers and soldiers. . . . 

We leave the Central Committee at the mfoment of victory; we 


cannot calmly look on while the policy of the chiefs of the Central 
Committee leads toward the loss of the fruits of victory and the 
crushing of the proletariat. . . . 

The masses of the workers, the soldiers of the garrison, 
stirred restlessly, sending their delegations to Smolny, to the 
Conference for Formation of the New Government, where the 
break in the ranks of the Bolsheviki caused the liveliest joy. 

But the answer of the Leninites was swift and ruthless. 
Shliapnikov and Teodorovitch submitted to party discipline 
and returned to their posts. Kameniev was stripped of his 
powers as president of the Tsay-ee-kah^ and Sverdlov elected in 
his place. Zinoviev was deposed as president of the Petro- 
grad Soviet. On the morning of the 5th, Pravda contained 
a ferocious proclamation to the people of Russia, written by 
Lenin, which was printed in hundreds of thousands of copies, 
j>osted on the walls everywhere, and distributed over the face 
of Russia. 

The second All-Russian Congress of Soviets gave the ma- 
jority to the Bolshevik party. Only a Government formed by this 
party can therefore be a Soviet Government. And it is known to 
all that the Central Committee of the Bolshevik party, a few hours 
before the formation of the new Government and before proposing 
the list of its members to the All-Russian Congress of Soviets, in- 
vited to its meeting three of the most eminent members of the Left 
Socialist Revolutionary group^ comrades Kamkov, Spiro and Kare- 
lin^ and ASKED THEM to participate in the new Government. We 
regret infinitely that the invited comrades refused; we consider 
their refusal inadmissible for revolutionists and champions of the 
working-class; we are willing at any time to include the Left So- 
cialist Revolutionaries in the Government; but we declare that^ as 
the party of the majority at the second All-Russian Congress of 
Soviets^ we are entitled and bound before the people to form a 
Cxovemment. • • . 

. . . Comrades! Several members of the Central Committee 


of our party and the Council of People's Commissars^ Kameniev^ 
Zinoviev^ Nogin^ Rykov^ Mlliutin and a few others left yesterday^ 
November 17th^ the Central Committee of our party^ and the last 
three^ the Council of People's Commissars. . . . 

The comrades who left us acted like deserters^ because they 
not only abandoned the posts entrusted to them^ but also disobeyed 
the direct instructions of the Central Committee of our party^ to 
the effect that they should await the decisions of the Petrograd and 
Moscow party organisations before retiring. We blame decisively 
such desertion. We are firmly convinced that all conscious work- 
ers^ soldiers and peasants^ belonging to our party or sympathising 
with it^ will also disapprove of the behaviour of the deserters. . . . 

Remember^ comrades^ that two of these deserters^ Eameniev and 
Zinoviev^ even before the uprising in Petrograd^ appeared as de- 
serters and strike-breakers^ by voting at the decisive meeting of 
the Central Committee^ October 23d^ 191 7> against the insurrec- 
tion; and even after the resolution passed by the Central Com- 
mittee, they continued their campaign at a meeting of the party 

workers. . . . But the great impulse of the masses^ the great hero- 


ism of millions of workers^ soldiers and peasants^ in Moscow^ Pet- 
rograd^ at the fronts in the trenches^ in the villages^ pushed aside 
the deserters as a railway train scatters saw-dust. . . . 

Shame upon those who are of little faith^ who hesitate^ who 
doubt^ who allow themselves to be frightened by the bourgeoisie^ 
or who .succumb before the cries of the latter's direct or indirect 
accomplices ! There is not a shadow of hesitation in the massks 
of Petrograd, Moscow, and the rest of Russia. . . . 

. . . We shall not submit to any ultimatums from small groups 
of intellectuals which are not followed by the masses^ which are 
PRACTICALLY ouly Supported by Eornilovists^ Savinkovists^ yunhers, 
and so forth. . . . 

The response from the whole country was like a blast 
of hot storm. The insurgents never got a chance to **8ay 
openly their opinion to the masses of workers and soldiers." 
Upon the Tsay-ee-kah rolled in like breakers the fierce popular 
condemnation of the "deserters." For days Smolny was 


thronged with angry delegations and committees, from the 
front, from the Volga, from the Petrograd factories. "Why 
did they dare leave the Government? Were they paid by the 
bourgeoisie to destroy the Revolution? They must return and 
submit to the decisions of the Central Committee !" 

Only in the Petrograd garrison was there still uncertainty. 
A great soldier meeting was held on November 24th, addressed 
by representatives of all the political parties. By a vast 
majority Lenin's policy was sustained, and the Left Socialist 
Revolutionaries were told that they must enter the govern- 
ment. . . . See next page. 

The Mensheviki delivered a final ultimatum, demanding 
that all Ministers and yunhera be released, that all newspapers 
be allowed full freedom, that the Red Guard be disarmed and 
the garrison put under command of the Duma. To this Smolny 
answered that all the Socialist Ministers and also all but a 
very f ew^ tfunkers had been already set free, that all newspapers 
were free except the bourgeois press, and that the Soviet would 
remain in command of the armed forces. . • • On the 19th the 
Conference to Form a New Government disbanded, and the 
opposition one by one slipped away to Moghilev, where, under 
the wing of the General Staff, they continued to form Govern- 
ment after Government, until the end. • . . 

Meanwhile the Bolsheviki had been undermining the power 
of the Vikzhel. An appeal of the Petrograd Soviet to all 
railway workers called upon them to force the Vikzhel to 
surrender its powers. On the 15th, the Taay-ee-hdh^ follow- 
ing its procedure toward the peasants, called an All-Russian 
Congress of Railway Workers for December 1st; the Vikzhel 
immediately called its own Congress for two weeks later. On 
November 16th, ih^ Vikzhel members took their seats in tjie 
Tsay-ee-kah. On the night of December 2d, at the opening ses- 
sion of the All-Russian Congress of Railway Workers, the Tsay- 

SBKKaHiio BCfixob pa6o^raa:a& 

11-ro Hoi6pi wh uyM DpeoKpaaeBciaro ooiia coerouocb ipetBiiiaSBoe ooSptaie 
flp^omneiel wc^i% uctel DeTporpMoaro rapBiaoaa. 

CoSpaaie no 6iuo oosaaao no BBniUnBt npeo(^»aaeHettru i CeiieioBciAro Boiievk 
KU oScysxeBii Bonpoca o tomi, luii coi^iaucnqeeiif naprii eton% w cortTeijio Baacn, 
■Mil opanB» costacioi Bxacn, latii croark m aapoxk, tudi iipofn»& aero, ■ bomobbo mm 

Ha coSpasle (huB npBrjameaii BpaxcraBVreiB I^eirrpanBaro HenoxBanibBaro Som- 
ma CoBftTOBi, FopoxfsBoi xyiou ABBceBTi>eBCBtro BpeeniMaro eoBtea ■ aeftt& ooarxBie- 
cnz% Bapdi <yn ooameBBBOB^ xo BapoiBuz^ eoqiajnieion aaiviBTeaBO. 

Uocjth xoiraro oOcjiueBiB, aaciyBiavb pbq Bcta% u^nil ■ opfraBBtaiUiy eotSpaaia no- 
xaBJBH>nunnb tioshWMBcnon roaocoBk oinaBai(4 wt6 voiuo Oojubsbbbb b jtaiia ae-«pH 
exoan w aapoxb, a Beft oorajunu na^nui Tonfto npBBpiiBawioB JoajBToam eorjaoieBifl xta 
fon^ «To6y xbbib» aapoxk r%s% laBoaBaBii, BMopiiB flaum giUaiH 0» jpn Bammi oa- 
n6paeBol pa6o«ei b oojxaToabi peBoaoqiB. 

Bon rtMCTh poMMunyB, bpbbbtoI aa ataHk eo^aiii IletporpaiosarD rapaiBOBa tl 
roiocovk nptmaek 1 B]ph 12 BoexepaaBBBxec 

MUlCTfc CO VftTOB^ 3a AffK9«m 

B& aany ^t«ro. eosmiiiaHle iioeraB«BJUieTms 

i) DbmecmM p^akoe nbpMUQHie m'bM-b nopmmn'b, komopbisi, 
AOsynroM-b corAQuietiii^ hh cuMOM-b a^^ xoiiiflini» copBOinb ^OBoeBoiiisi, AOfSbiiinlia 
nopoAOM-b B-b AHM okmsOpbcMoil peBououui. 

2) Dfatpasmnb nouioe AOB^pie UemnpoAbiioMy HcnoMuuneAbHOMy KoMMneMy 
■ CoB^my HQpOAifbixi* KoMMCcopoA-b M oCS^uicunb itM-b noAHyv) noAAepi(ky. 

B-b iiKnke BpeMfl coOpoHie noxoAMm-b ne^tfxoAiiMbiM^ «nio6b' moBQDNUUi aMm 
•c-aph BcmyniuM bi> cociiiqbi> HapoAnaro ripafeiiiiieAbciiiM. 

Announcement, posted on the walls of Petrograd, of the result of a meeting of 
representatives of tne garrison regiments, called to consider the question of forming a 
new Government. For translation see Appendix 6. 



ee-kah formally offered the post of Commissar of Ways and 
Comm\imcatioiis to the Vikzhel — ^which accepted. . . . 

Having settled the question of power, the Bolsheviki turned 
their attention to problems of practical administration. First 
of all the city, the country, the Army must be fed. Bands 
of sailors and Red Guards scoured the warehouses, the rail- 
way terminals, even the barges in the canals, unearthing and 
confiscating thousands of poods * of food held by private 
speculators. Emissaries were sent to the provinces, where 
with the assistance of the Land Committees they seized the 
store-houses of the great grain-dealers. Expeditions of sailors, 
heavily armed, were sent out in groups of five thousand, to 
the South, to Siberia, with roving commissions to capture cities 
still held by the White Guards, establish order, and get food. 
Passenger traffic on the Trans-Siberian Railroad was sus- 
pended for two weeks, while thirteen trains, loaded with bolts 
of cloth and bars of iron assembled by the Factory-Shop Com- 
mittees, were sent out eastward, each in charge Qf a Commissar, 
to barter with the Siberian peasants for grain and pota- 
uoes* • • • 

Kaledin being in possession of the coal-mines of the Don, 
the fuel question became urgent. Smolny shut off all electric 
lights in theatres, shops and restaurants, cut down the number 
of street cars, and confiscated the private stores of fire-wood 
held by the fuel-dealers. . . . And when the factories of Petro- 
grad were about to close down for lack of coal, the sailors of 
the Baltic Fleet turned over to the workers two hundred thou- 
sand poods from the bunkers of battle-ships. . . . 

Toward the end of November occurred the "wine-pog- 
roms ^ ''—looting of the wine-cellars— beginning with the plun- 
dering of the Winter Palace vaults. iFor days there were drun- 
ken soldiers on the streets. . . . In all this was evident the hand 
of the counter-revolutionists, who distributed among the regi- 
* A pood is thirtjr-six pounds. 


ments plans showing the location of the stores of liquor. The 
Commissars of Smolny began by pleading and arguing, which 
did not stop the growing disorder, followed by pitched bat- 
tles between soldiers and Red Guards. . . . Finally the 
Military Revolutionary Committee sent out companies of 
sailors with machine-guns, who fired mercilessly upon the 
rioters, killing many; and by executive order the wine-cellars 
were invaded by Committees with hatchets, who smashed the 
bottles — or blew them up with dynamite. . . . 

Companies of Red Guards, disciplined and well-paid,* were 
on duty at the headquarters of the Ward Soviets day and 
night, replacing the old Militia. In all quarters of the city 
small elective Revolutionary Tribunals were set up by the 
workers and soldiers to deal with petty crime. . . . 

The great hotels, where the speculators still did a thriving 
business, were surrounded by Red Guards, and the speculators 
thrown into jail.® . . . 

Alert and suspicious, the working-class of the city con- 
stituted itself a vast spy system, through the servants prying 
into bourgeois households, and reporting all information to 
the Military Revolutionary Committee, which struck with an 
iron hand, unceasing. In this way was discovered the Mon- 
archist plot led by former Duma-member Purishkevitch and a 
group of nobles and officers, who had planned an officers' up- 
rising, and had written a letter inviting Kaledin to Petro- 
grad.® ... In this way was unearthed the conspiracy of 
the Petrograd Cadets, who were sending money and recruits 
to Kaledin. . . . 

. Neratov, frightened at the outburst of popular fury pro- 
voked by his flight, returned and surrendered the Secret 
Treaties to Trotzky, who began their publication in Pravda, 
scandalising the world. . . . 

The restrictions on the Press were increased by a decree ^^ 
making advertisements a monopoly of the official Govern- 

1) FopQSii oeTporpon obAnen mi msm 

jy BcflKifl co6paHlfl, MHTHHrH, c6opHiiiia M 
T. n. »Q y/iHuax-b h n/ioiMaAflx-b BocnpeiMaeToi. 

3) rionbiTKH pa3rpoMOBi3 BMNHbix^b norpe- 

SOBI), CK/iaAOBI), 3aBOAOB1>, nQBOKh, Mora^H* 
HQBI), MaCTHblX1> KBapTHpi) M npOM. M T. n. 6^ 

ayrb npeKpamaeMbi ny/ieMeTHbiMT3 omeMiy 
6e3T3 Bcakaro npeAynpe>KfleHm, " 

41 nwmmuoBh Homnreniin^ lUBeiiiiaiiiaiinbi flBomnnuun 
■ mimHulM urtHJincii vb fitayuoBByn o6fl3aiiiiocni niimp- 
■■Ban canid crpoHuriiinlM noiuuiovb vb mwiaKbi moiNun 
D n yaaqun. nmnnrbBopon d ooiiiitBiibi AonoBbiiojnnH 
inaiNriKfl vb 9 uc. antiNi ■ onqMBanai vb 7 wc frpa. 
nocin 9 wc imiHi BbmycuTb Tonun BUbiioBb nmi 

S) laHOBnuHi Bb paawnt. opoiuurt un nploSptttHlii 
Bonunrb aanmnuarb HammioBbf a rauio ab wmfoiaabi nfi- 
■TOBb 2-ro ■ 4-ro fiyniTb Dentiumnia apamiaHu ■ mtmuh 
rafTU caMNoy Taauany aaaaaaHlMi, 

neTporpaAb*6-ro AaNa6|>sif 3 naca nohn. 

Honren bo lofbH ci norpoaaHi np IcnojmnemBm 
BiBDRrrt Cortn FaHoHm i * CojnarcKirb fyarmmL 


Bolshevik order. A proclamation of the Committee to Fight against Pogroms, 
attached to the Petrograd Soviet. For translation see Appendix ii. 


. ' ■ ' - /or • 


ment newspaper. At this all the other papers suspended puUictr 
tion as a protest, or disobeyed the law and were closed. . • . 
Only three weeks later did they finally submit. 

Still the strike of the Ministries went on, stiU the sabotage 
of the old officials, the stoppage of normal economic life. 
Behind Smolny was only the will of the yast, unorganised 
popular masses; and with them the Council of People's Com- 
missars dealt, directing revolutionary mass-action against its 
enemies. In eloquent proclamations,^^ couched in simple words 
and spread oyer Russia, Lenin explained the Reyolution» urged 
the people to take the power into their own hands, by force to 
break down the resistance of the propertied classes, by force 
to take oyer the institutions of Goyemment. Reyolutionary 
order. Reyolutionary discipline! Strict accountin|f and 
control! No strikes! No loafing! 

On the 20th of November the Military Revolutionary 
Committee issued a warning: 

The rich classes oppose the power of the Soviets — ^the Govern- 
ment of workers^ soldiers and peasants. Their sympathisers halt 
the work of the employees of the Government and the Duma^ incite 
strikes in the banks^ try to interrupt communication by the rail- 
ways^ the post and the telegraph. . . . 

We warn them that they are playing with fire. The country 
and the Army are threatened with famine. To fight against it^ the 
regular functioning of all services is indispensable. The Workers' 
and Peasants' Government is taking every measure to assure the 
country and the Army all that is necessary. Opposition to these 
measures is a crime against the People. We warn the rich classes 
and their sympathisers that^ if they do not cease their sabotage and 
Vtiieir provocation in halting the transportation of food^ they will 
''rbe the first to suffer. They will be deprived of the right of re- 
ceiving food. All the reserves which they possess will be requi- 
sitioned. The property of the principal criminals will be confis- 

We have done our duty in warning those who play with fire. 


Ko BctPTb pa6o>iNm 


BejiH>iaiiiiiyio BUAemiacy n BbmocroiBocTb, 

ton ■■iimwinli BCkni saim%. Ha amnaejinaniSyiifTm 
nmnu wBMi 3u«m m paSMtaqr Maptcf « b» tmoi 

■onvojrfc nub ■poasMncnoBi^ ■ 0611 ptri loqMNUria mip- 

SafantNun r BunynjieHii jsOmxk msh n 
nerporpaflt renepb tojiuio mmh. 

Mu npocBirfc Bac% nentnAtBuo. nptmpam Bct. 9icoB«im«nc«tik ly iH wH i iiNie cida 
•aXtaCTOBXB, BcbMi CTATb BE pa^oiy H npoB3BOwm» ee b% nodmom nopiQQt^ Pa6oTa 
m saBOAazi* H BO bc^i» npeADpiaTinxi. Heo0xoABafa.BoooMy itpaiuiTejibCTBy C<iBiiTOB'&. 
90TOiiy qro Bcaicoe pascrpoftcniQ paCorb coanaerfc a^ BftCb aoauR aarpyjuatBlsL 
mmophuch B ({eai to^ Aoe^Mkbao/BcK n cadiniy irbciy. 

Jlyvnee cpeACiBQ noAAcpBtarb boboc BpaBorejDfCno CostTOB^ Bib wra jora— 

flo sAPflBCTBuen TBepjun ivmm upoiniptoidf ii inwRiBsm 

f — fwtii « K ««*lfc». Ih^wwx CMtan msl C w< — i^ 

App^ of the Petrograd Soviet, the Petrograd CouticU of Professional Unions, 
sad the Petrograd Council of Factory Shop Committees, to the Workers of Petro- 
grad, urging them to work hard and not to strike. For translation see Appendix 13. 



We are convinced that in case decisive measures become neces- 
sary^ we shall be solidly supported by all workers^ soldiers, and 

On the 22d of November the walls of the city were placarded 
with a sheet headed ^^extraordinary communication": 

The Council of People's Commissars has received an urgent 
telegram from the Staff of the Northern Front. . . . 

"There must be no further delay; do not let the Army die of 
hunger; the armies of the Northern Front have not received a crust 
of bread now for several days^ and in two or three days they will 
not have any more biscuits — which are being doled out to them 
from reserve supplies until now never touched. . • . Already dele- 
gates from all parts of the Front are talking of a necessary re- 
moval of part of the Army to the rear^ foreseeing that in a few 
days there will be headlong flight of the soldiers^ dying from hun- 
ger^ ravaged by the three years' war in the trenches^ sick, insuffi- 
ciently clothed, bare-footed, driven mad by superhuman misery." 

The Military Revolutionary Committee brings this to the notice 
of the Petrograd garrison and the workers of Petrograd. The sit- 
uation at the Front demands the most urgent and decisive measures. 
. . . Meanwhile the higher functionaries of the Government insti- 
tutions, banks, railroads, post and telegraph, are on strike and 
impeding the work of the Government in supplying the Front with 
provisions. . . . Each hour of delay may cost the life of thousands 
of soldiers. The counter-revolutionary functionaries are the most 
dishonest criminals toward their hungry and dying brethren on the 
Front. . . . 

The Military Revolutionary Committee giybs thess crimi- 
nals A last warning. In event of the least resistance or oppo- 
sition on their part, the harshness of the measures which will be 
adopted against them will correspond to the seriousness of their 
crime. • • • 

The masses of workers and soldiers responded by a savage 
tremor of rage, which swept all Russia. In the capital the 


Government and bank employees got out hundreds of proclama- 
tions and appeals,^ ^ protesting, defending themselves, such as 
this one: 




Because the violence exercised by the Bolsheviki against the 
State Bank has made it impossible for us to work. The first act 
of the People's Commissars was to demand ten million rubles^ 
and on November 27th they demanded twenty-five millions^ 
without any indication as to where this money was to go. 

• . . We functionaries cannot take part in plundering the peo- 
ple's property. We stopped work. 

Citizens ! The money in the State Bank is yours^ the people's 
money^ acquired by your labour^ your sweat and blood. Citizens! 
Save the people's property from robbery, and us from violence, 
and we shall immediately resume work. 

Employees of the State Bank. 

From the Ministry of Supplies, the Ministry of Finance, 
from the Special Supply Committee, declarations that the 
Military Revojutionary Committee made it impossible for 
the employees to work, appeals to the population to support 
them against Smolny. . . • But the dominant worker and sol- 
dier did not believe them; it was firmly fixed in the popular 
mind that the employees were sabotaging, starving the Army, 
starving the people. ... In the long bread lines, which as 
formerly stood in the iron winter streets, it was not the Gov- 
ernment which was blamed, as it had been under Kerensky, but 
the tchinovniki^ the sabotageurs ; for the Government was their 
Government, their Soviets — and the functionaries of the Minis- 
tries were against it. . . . 

At the centre of all this opposition was the Duma, and 
its militant organ, the Committee for Salvation, protesting 
against all the decrees of the Council of People's Commissars, 




voting again and again not to recognise the Soviet Grovem- 
ment, openly cooperating with the new counter-revolutionary 
^^Governments*' set up at Moghilev. ... On the 17th of No- 
vember, for example, the Committee for Salvation addressed 
^^all Municipal Governments, Zemstvos, and all democratic and 
revolutionary organisations of peasants, workers, soldiei^s and 
other citizens," in these words: 

Do not recognise the Government of the Bolsheviki^ and strug- 
gle against it. 

Form local Committees for Salvation of Country and Revolu- 
tion^ who will unite all democratic forces^ so as to aid the All- 
Russian Committee for Salvation in the tasks which it has set 
itself. . . . 

Meanwhile the elections for the Constituent Assembly in 
Petrograd^*^ gave an enormous plurality to the Bolsheviki; 
so that even the Mensheviki Internationalists pointed out that 
the Duma ought to be re-elected, as it no longer represented 
the political composition of the Fetrograd population. • . . 
At the same time floods of resolutions from workers' organisa- 
tions, from military units, even from the peasants in the sur- 
rounding country, poured in upon the Duma, calling it 
"counter-revolutionary, Kornilovitz,'* and demanding that it 
resign. The last days of the Diuna were stormy with the 
bitter demands of the Municipal workers for decent living 
wages, and the threat of strikes. . . . 

On the 23d a formal decree of the Military Revolutionary 
Committee dissolved the Committee for Salvation. On the 
29th, the Council of People's Commissars ordered the dissolu- 
tion and re-election of the Petrograd City Duma: 

In view of the fact that the Central Duma of Petrograd, 
elected September 2d, . . . has definitely lost the right to repre- 
sent the population ,of Petrograd^ being in complete disaccord 
with its state of mind-^.d its aspirations . . . and in view of the 
fact that the personnel of the Duma maJ4>rityr^ although having 


lost all political following^ continues to make use of its preroga- 
tives to resist in a counter-revolutionary manner the will of the 
workers^ soldiers and peasants^ to sabotage and obstruct the nor- 
mal work of the Government — the Council of People's Commissars 
considers it its duty to invite the population of the capital to pro- 
nounce judgment on the policy of the organ of Municipal autonomy. 
To this end the Council of People's Commissars resolves: 

(1) To dissolve the Municipal Duma; the dissolution to take 
effect November SOth, 1917. 

(2) All functionaries elected or appointed by the present 
Duma shall remain at their posts and fulfil the duties confided to 
them^ until their places shall be filled by representatives of the new 

(3) All Municipal employees shall continue to fulfil their 
duties; those who leave the service of their own accord shall be 
considered discharged. 

(4) The new elections for the Municipal Duma of Petrograd 
are fixed for December 9th, 1917. .. . 

(5) The Municipal Duma of Petrograd shall meet December 
11th, 1917, at two o'clock. 

(6) Those who disobey this decree, as well as those who in- 
tentionally harm or destroy the property of the Municipality, shall 
be inmiediately arrested and brought before the Revolutionary Tri- 
bunals. ... 

The Duma met defiantly, passing resolutions to the effect 
/that it would "defend its position to the last drop of its 
blood," and appealing desperately to the population to save 
their "own elected City Government." But the population 
remained indifferent or hostile. On the 31st Mayor Schreider 
and several members were arrested, interrogated, and released. 
That day and the next the Duma continued to meet, inter- 
rupted frequently by Red Guards and sailors, who politely 
requested the assembly to disperse. At the meeting of De- 
cember Sd, an officer and some sailors entered the Nicolai 


Hall while a member was speaking, and ordered the members 
to leave, or force would be used. They did so, protesting to 
the last, but finally "ceding to violence.'* 

The new Duma, which was elected ten days later, and for 
which the "Moderate" Socialists refused to vote, was almost 
entirely Bolshevik. . . . 

There remained several centres of dangerous opposition, 
such as the "republics" of Ukraine and Finland, which were 
showing definitely anti-Soviet tendencies. Both at Hds- 
ingfors and at Kiev the Governments were gathering troops 
which could be depended upon, and entering upon campaigns 
of crushing Bolshevism, and of disarming and expelling Rus- 
sian troops. The Ukrainean Rada haJ t^^esucoomand of 
all southern Russia, and was furnishing' Kaledin r^nforce- 
ments and supplies. Both Finland and Ukraine were beginning 
secret negotiations with the Germans, and were promptly rec- 
ognised by the Allied Governments, which loaned them huge 
sums of money, joining with the propertied classes to 
create counter-revolutionary centres of attack upon Soviet 
Russia. In the end, when Bolshevism had conquered in both 
these countries, the defeated bourgeoisie called in the Grermans 
to restore them to power. . . . 

But the most formidable menace to the Soviet GU)vemment 
was internal and two-headed — the Kaledin movement, and the 
Staff at Moghilev, where Greneral Dukhonin had assumed 

The ubiquitous Muraviov was appointed commander of 
the war against the Cossacks, and a Red Army was recruited 
from among the factory workers. Hundreds of propagandists 
were sent to the Don. The Council of People's Commissars 
issued a proclamation to the Cossacks,^ '^ explaining what the 
Soviet Government was, how the propertied classes, the tchimr 
ovnSciy landlords, bankers and their allies, the Cossack princes, 
land-owners and Generals, were trying to destroy the Revohi- 

Orb Komccffl no HapopM; (KpasoBUHiH) qi 
IleHTpbHOl ropopol j(yii& 

ToeapNiuH pa6oHie n pa6oTHHUibd 

3s lICKOAKO Kiel XO I^MaWMKi tint Ofe W iBWI 

stftcToua jvamna ropoxcBm yaimrk Tvapi bii- 
UMBh tt cTopoii dypsyasii nponn pafnan i 
ipecTUDCBaro npaBRenena. 

T^Biprnp^ fpramsyire povrejbCBiB wnamtu i 
mnciTd pesojDipi iqiomnb .safiacroBKi yvoqpsk 
OfpaiiatTecb n paiomue Gortm Fallovn i Coi- 
wrenn KfiBYmwb, npotecdoiaiuue coosi^ jfa- 
fpmo-saBOACEie ■ napniiiie lOMiTeni n iqpexn- 
yr^anHiTb mniin iq^orecn. JctfUBMn 
cuan em i pasuevmi xu iML 
Tpedyire BOsotfiOBxeHii samit nocil flptamu li 
i^onb^ Korepui yHisen Ilenptmai A7111. 

UFO ofipasoBsm^ ucramiTe n Konpexl npojnrap- 
dm opraHnaiiil njnb ■njra& 

^.j IM ' 

'M I IN .1 

Xomcds no jCapotoy OSpasoSaxbo 

vpa feNnpaiiMOft TopoMtoB llyMi 

Proclamation of the Commission on Public Education attached to the City Duma, 
conoerning the strike of school-teachers, just before the Christmas holidays. The 
Duma had been re-elected, and was composed almost entirely of Bolsheviki. For 
translation see Appendix 17. 

287 V, 


tion, and prevent the confiscation of their wealth by the 

On November 27th a committee of Cossacks came to Smohiy 
to see Trotzky and Lenin. Tliey demanded if it were true 
that the Soviet Government did not intend to divide the 
Cossack lands among the peasants of Great Russia? ^^o/' 
answered Trotzky. The Cossacks dehberated for a while. 
**Well,'' they asked, "does the Soviet Government intend to 
confiscate the estates of our great Cossack land-owners and 
divide them among the working Cossacks?*' To this Lenin 
replied. "That," he said, "is for you to do. We shall support 
the working Cossacks in all their actions. • • . The best way 
to begin is to form Cossack Soviets; you will be given repre- 
sentation in the Tsatf-ee-kahy and then it will be ffour Govern- 
ment, too. . . .'* 

The Cossacks departed, thinking hard. Two weeks later 
General Kaledin received a deputation from his troops. **Will 
you,'* they asked, "promise to divide the great estates of the 
Cossack landlords among the working Cossacks?" 

"Only over my dead body," responded Kaledin. A month 
later, seeing his army melt away before his eyes, Kakdin 
blew out his brains. And the Cossack movement was no 
more. • . . 

Meanwhile at Moghilev were gathered the old Tsajf-ee-kah 
the "moderate" Socialist leaders — from Avksentiev to Tcher- 
nov — the active chiefs of the old Army Committees, and the 
reactionary officers. The Staff steadily refused to recognise 
the Council of People's Commissars. It had united about it 
the Death Battalions, the Knights of^St. George, and the 
Cossacks of the Front, and was in close and secret touch with 
the Allied military attaches, and with the Kaledin movement 
and the Ukrainean Rada. • • . 

The Allied Governments had made no reply to the Peace 


decree of November 8th, in which the Congress of Soviets 
had asked for a general armistice. 

On November 20th Trotzky addressed a note to the Allied 

I have the honour to inform you^ Mr. Ambassador^ that the 
All-Russian Congress of Soviets ... on November 8th constituted 
a new Government of the Russian Republic^ in the form of the 
Council of People's Commissars. The President of this Govern- 
ment is Vladimir Ilyitch Lenin. The direction of Foreign Affairs 
has been entrusted to me^ as People's Conunissar for Foreign Af- 
fairs. • . . 

In drawing your attention to the text^ approved by the All- 
Russian Congress^ of the proposition for an armistice and a demo- 
cratic peace without annexations or indemnities^ based on the right 
of self-determination of peoples, I have the honour to request you to 
consider that document as a formal proposal of an immediate armis- 
tice on all f rontSj and the opening of immediate peace negotiations ; 
a proposal which the authorised Government of the Russian Repub- 
lic addresses at the same time to all the belligerent peoples and 
their Governments. 

Please accept^ Mr. Ambassador, the profound assurance of the 
esteem of the Soviet Government toward your people, who cannot 
but wish for peace, like all the other peoples exhausted and drained 
by this unexampled butchery. . . . 

The same night the Council of People*8 Commissars tele- 
graphed to General Dukhonin: 

• , . The Council of People's Commissars considers it indis- 
pensable without delay to make a formal proposal of armistice to 
all the powers, both enemy and Allied. A declaration conforming 
to this decision has been sent by the Commissar for Foreign Af- 
fairs to the representatives of the Allied powers at Petrograd. 

The Council of People's Commissars orders you, Citizen Com- 
mander, ... to propose to the enemy military authorities imme- 
diately to cease hostilities^ and enter into negotiations for peace. 


In charging you with the conduct of these preliminary pourparlers^ 
the Council of People's Commissars orders you: 

1. To inform the Council by direct wire immediately of any 
and all steps in the pourparlers with the representatives of the 
enemy armies. 

2. Not to sign the act of armistice until it has been passed 
upon by the Council of People's Conmiissars. 

The Allied Ambassadors received Trotzky's note with con- 
temptuous silence, accompanied by anonymous interviews in 
the newspapers, full of spite and ridicule. The order to 
Dukhonin was characterised openly as an act of treason. • • . 

As for Dukhonin, he gave no sign. On the night of 
November SSnd he was communicated with by telephone, and 
asked if he intended to obey the order. Dukhonin answered 
that he could not, unless it emanated from *^a Government 
sustained by the Army and the country." 

By telegraph he was immediately dismissed from the 
post of Supreme Commander, and Krylenko appointed in his 
pjlace. Following his tactics of appealing to the masses, 
Lenin sent a radio to all regimental, divisional and corps 
Committees, to all soldiers and sailors of the Army and the 
Fleet, acquainting them with Dukhonin's refusal, and order- 
ing that ^Hhe regiments on the front shall elect delegates to 
begin negotiations with the enemy detachments opposite their 
positions. . . ." 

On the SSd, the military attaches of the Allied nations, 
ftcting on instructions from their Governments, presented a 
note to Dukhonin, in which he was solemnly warned not 
to ^Wiolate the conditions of the treaties concluded between the 
Powers of the Entente." The note went on to say that if a 
separate armistice with Germany were concluded, that act 
^Vould result in the most serious consequences" to Russia. 
This communication Dukhonin at oQce sent out to all the 
^soldiers' Conunittees. . . . 


Next morning Trotzky made another appeal to the 
troops, characterising the note of the Allied representatives 
as a flagrant interference in the internal affairs of Russia<i 
and a bald attempt "to force by threats the Russian Army 
and the Russian people to continue the war in execution 
of the treaties concluded by the Tsar. . • ." 

From Smolny pK)ured out proclamation after proclama- 
tion,^^ denouncing Dukhonin and the counter-revolutionary 
officers about him, denouncing the reactionary politicians 
gathered at Moghilev, rousing, from one end of the thousand- 
mile Front to the other, millions of angry, suspicious soldiers. 
And at the same time Krylenko, accompanied by three detach- 
ments of fanatical sailors, set out for the Stavka, breathing 
threats of vengeance,^® and received by the soldiers everywhere 
with tremendous ovations — a triumphal progress. The Cen- 
tral Army Committee issued a declaration in favour of Duk- 
honin; and at once ten thousand troops moved upon Mog- 
hilev. ... 

On December Sid the garrison of Moghilev rose and seized 
the city, arresting Dukhonin and the Army Committee, and 
going out with victorious red banners to meet the new Supreme 
Conunander. Krylenko entered Moghilev next morning, to 
And a howling mob gathered about the railway-car in which 
Dukhonin had been imprisoned. Krylenko made a speech in 
which he implored the soldiers not to harm Dukhonin, as he 
was to be taken to Petrograd and judged by the Revolutionary 
Tribunal. When he had finished, suddenly Dukhonin him- 
self appeared at the window, as if to address the throng. 
But with a savage roar the people rushed the car, and falling 
upon the old General, dragged him out and beat him to d^th 
on the platform. ... 

So ended the revolt of the Stavka. ... 

Immensely strengthened by the collapse of the last im- ^ 
portant stronghold of hostile military power in Russia, they 


Soviet Government began with conlSdence the organisation of 
the state. Many of the old functionaries flocked to its banner, 
and many members of other parties entered the Government 
service. The financially ambitious, however, were checked by 
the decree on Salaries of Government Employees, fixing the 
salaries of the People's Commissars — the highest — at five hun- 
dred rubles (about fifty dollars) a month. . • . The strike of 
Government Employees, led by the Union of Unions, collapsed, 
deserted by the financial and commercial interests which had 
been backing it. The bank clerks returned to their jobs. . . . 

With the decree on the Nationalisation of Banks, the 
formation of the Supreme Council of People's Economy, the 
putting into practical operation of the Land decree in the 
villages, the democratic reorganisation of the Army, and the 
sweeping changes in all branches of the Government and of life, 
— ^with all these, effective only by the will of the masses of 
workers, soldiers and peasants, slowly began, with many mis- 
takes and hitches, the moulding of proletarian Russia. 

Not by compromise with the propertied classes, or with 
the other political leaders ; not by conciliating the old Govern- 
ment mechanism, did the Bolsheviki conquer the power. Nor 
by the organized violence of a small clique. If the masses all 
over Russia had not been ready for insurrection it must have 
failed. The only reason for Bolshevik success lay in their accom- 
plishing the vast and simple desires of the most profound 
strata of the people, calling them to the work of tearing down 
and destroying the old, and afterward, in the smoke of falling 
ruins, cooperating with them to erect the frame-work of the 
new. • • • 


THE feasants' CONGRESS 

It was on November 18th that the snow came. In the 
morning we woke to window-ledges heaped white, and snow- 
flakes falling so whirling thick that it was impossible to see 
ten feet ahead. The mud was gone ; in a twinkling the gloomy 
city became white, dazzling. The droshki with their padded 
coachmen turned into sleighs, bounding along the uneven 
street at headlong speed, their drivers' beards stiff and fro- 
zen. . • . In spite of Revolution, all Russia plunging dizzily 
into the unknown and terrible future, joy swept the city with 
the coming of the snow. Everybody was smiling; people ran 
into the streets, holding out their arms to the soft, falling 
flakes, laughing. Hidden was all the greyness ; only the gold 
and coloured spires and cupolas, with heightened barbaric 
splendour, gleamed through the white snow. 

Even the sun came out, pale and watery, at noon. The 
colds and rheumatism of the rainy months vanished. The life 
of the city grew gay, and the very Revolution ran swifter. . . • 

I sat one evening in a traktir — a kind of lower-class inn 
— across the street from the gates of Smolny ; a low-ceilinged, 
loud place called "Uncle Tom's Cabin," much frequented by 
Red Guards. They crowded it now, packed close around the 
little tables with their dirty table-cloths and enormous china 
tea-pots, filling the place with foul cigarette-smoke, while the 
harassed waiters ran about crying ^^Seichass! Seichass! In 
a minute! Right away!" 

In one corner sat a man in the uniform of a captain, 



addressing the assembly, which interrupted him at every few 

**You are no better than murderers!'* he cried. "Shoot- 
ing down your Russian brothers on the streets !" 

"When did we do that?" asked a worker, 

"Last Sunday you did it, when the yunkers '* 

^^ell, didn't they shoot us?" One man exhibited his arm 
in a sling. "Haven't I got something to remember them by, 
the devik?" 

The captain shouted at the top of his voice. *^ou should 
remain neutral! You should remain neutral! Who are you 
to destroy the legal Government? Who is Lenin? A Grer- 
man •" 

**Who are you? A counter-revolutionist! A provocator!" 
they bellowed at him. 

When he could make himself heard the captain stood up. 
"All right !" said he. **You call yourselves the -people of 
Russia. But you're not the people of Russia. The peasants 
are the people of Russia. Wait until the peasants ^ 

**Yes," they cried, "wait until the peasants speak. We 
know what the peasants will say. . • • Aren't they working- 
men like ourselves?" 

In the long run, everything depended upon the peasants. 
While the peasants had been politically backward, still they 
had their own peculiar ideas, and they constituted more than 
eighty per cent of the people of Russia. T he Bols heviki had 
a comparatively small following among the peasants ; and a per- 
manent dictatorship of Russia by the industrial workers was im- 
possible. • • • The traditional pea sant pftri^ was the Socialist 
Revolutionary party; of all the parties now supporting the 
Soviet Government, the Left Socialist Revolutionaries were 
the logical inheritors of peasant leadership— and the Left 
Socialist Revolutionaries, who were at the mercy of the organ- 


ised city proletariat, desperately needed the backing of the 
peasants. . . . 

Meanwhile Smolny had not neglected the peasants. After 
the Land decree, one of the first actions of the new Tsay-ee-lcah 
had been to call a Congress of Peasants, over the head of the 
Executive Committee of the Peasants' Soviets. A few days 
later was issued detailed Regulations for the Volost (Township) 
Land Committees, followed by Lenin's "Instruction to Peas- 
ants," ^ which explained the Bolshevik revolution an^ the new 
Government in simple terms ; and on November 16th, Lenin and 
Miliutin published the ^^Instructions to Provincial Emissaries," 
of whom thousands were sent by the Soviet Grovemment into 
the villages. 

1. , Upon his arrival in the provhice to which he is accred- 
ited^ the emissary should call a joint meeting of the Central Ex- 
ecutive Conmiittees of the Soviets of Workers', Soldiers' and Peas- 
ants' Deputies, to whom he should make a report on the agrarian 
laws, and then demand that a joint plenary session of the Soviets 
be summoned. • . • 

2. He must study the aspects of the agrarian problem in the 

a. Has the land-owners' property been taken over, and if so, 
in what districts? 

b. Who administers the confiscated land — ^the former proprie- 
tor, or the Land Committees? 

c. What has been done with the agricultural machinery and 
with the farm-animals? 

S. Has the ground cultivated by the peasants been augmented? 

4. How much and in what respect does the amount of land 
now under cultivation differ from the amount fixed by the Gov- 
ernment as an average minimum? 

5. The emissary must insist that, after the peasants have 

received the land, it is imperative that they increase the amount 

of cultivated land as quickly as possible, and that they hasten the 

* References in this chapter refer to the Appendix to Chapter XII. See 
page 371. 


sending of grain to the cities^ as the only means of avoiding famine. 

6. What are the measures projected or put into effect for 
the transfer of land from the land-owners to the Land Commit- 
tees and similar bodies appointed by the Soviets? 

7. It is desirable that agricultural properties well appointed 
and well organised should be administered by Soviets composed 
of the regular employees of those properties^ under the direction 
of competent agricultural scientists. 

All through the villages a ferment of change was going 
on, caused not only by the electrifying action of the Land 
decree, but also by thousands of revolutionary-minded peasant- 
soldiers returning from the front. . • • These men, especially, 
welcomed the call to a Congress of Peasants. 

Like the old Tsay-ee-kah in the matter of the second Con- 
gress of Workers' and Soldiers' Soviets, the Executive CoDMnit- 
tee tried to prevent the Peasant Congress summoned by Smolny. 
And like the old Tsay-ee-kaK finding its resistance futile, the 
Executive Committee sent frantic telegrams ordering the elec- 
tion of Conservative delegates. Word was even spread among the 
peasants that the Congress would meet at Moghilev, and 
some delegates went there; but by November 28d about four 
hundred had gathered in Petrograd, and the i>arty caucuses 
had begun. . • . 

The. first session took place in the Alexander Hall of the 
Duma building, and the first vote showed that more than half 
of all the delegates were Left Socialist Revolutionaries, while 
the Bolsheviki controlled a bare fifth, the conservative Social- 
ist Revolutionaries a quarter, and all the rest were united only 
in their opposition to the old Executive Committee, dominated 
by Avksentiev, Tchaikovsky and Peshekhonov. . . . 

The great hall was jammed with people and shaken with 
continual clamour; deep, stubborn bitterness divided the 
delegates into angry groups. To the right was a sprinkling 



( I- 




of officers' epaulettes, and the patriarchal, bearded faces of 
the older, more substantial peasants ; in the centre were a few 
peasants, non-commissioned officers, and some soldiers ; and on 
the left almost all the delegates wore the uniforms of common 
soldiers. These last were the young generation, who had 
been serving in the army. . . . The galleries were thronged 
with workers — ^who, in Russia, still remember their peasant 
origin. . • . 

Unlike the old Tsay-ee-kah^ the Executive Committee, in 
opening the session, did not recognise the Congress as official ; 
the official Congress was called for December 13th ; amid a hur- 
ricane of applause and angry cries, the speaker declared that 
this gathering was merely "Extraordinary Conference". . . . 
But the ^^Extraordinary Conference" soon showed its attitude 
toward the Executive Committee by electing as presiding officer 
Maria Spiridonova, leader of the Left Socialist Revolution- 

Most of the first day was taken up by a violent debate as 
to whether the representatives of Volost Soviets should be 
seated, or only delegates from the Provincial bodies; and just 
as in the Workers' and Soldiers' Congress, an overwhelming 
majority declared in favour of the widest possible representa- 
tion. Whereupon the old Executive Committee left the 
hall. . . . 

Almost immediately it was evident that most of the dele- 
gates were hostile to the Government of the People's Commis-. 
sars. Zinoviev, attempting to speak for the Bolsheviki, was 
hooted down, and as he left the platform, amid laughter, there 
were cries, "There's how a People's Commissar sits in a mud- 
puddle !" 

**We Left Socialist Revolutionaries refuse," cried Nazariev, 
a delegate from the Provinces, "to recognise this so-fcalled 
Workers' and Peasants' Government until the peasants are 



represented in it. At present it is nothing but a dictator- 
ship of the workers. . • . We insist upon the formation of a 
new Grovemment which will represent the entire democracy!'' 

The reactionary delegates shrewdly fostered this feeHng, 
declaring, in the face of protests from the Bolshevik benches, 
that the Council of People's Commissars intended either to 
control the Congress or dissolve it by force of arms — ^an 
announcement which was received by the peasants with bursts 
of fury. ... 

On the third day Lenin suddenly mounted the tribune; for 
ten minutes the room went mad. *^Down with himP' they 
shrieked. *^We will not listen to any of your People's Commis- 
sars! We don't recognise your Grovemment!" 

Lenin stood there quite calmly, gripping the desk with 
both hands, his little eyes thoughtfully surveying the tumult 
beneath. Finally, except for the right side of the hall, the 
demonstration wore itself out somewhat. 

*^I do not come here as a member of the Council of 
People's Conmiissars," said Lenin, and waited again for the 
noise to subside, ^^but as a member of the Bolshevik faction, 
duly elected to this Congress." And he held his credentials 
up so that all might see them. 

"However," he went on, in an unmoved voice, **nobody 
will deny that the present Government of Russia has been 
formed by the Bolshevik i>arty — " he had to wait a moment, 
"so that for all purposes it is the same thing. . . ." Here the 
right benches broke into deafening clamour, but the centre and 
left were curious, and compelled silence. 

Lenin's argument was simple. "Tell me frankly, you peas- 
ants, to whom we have given the lands of the pondeshtchUci; do 
you want now to prevent the workers from getting control of 
industry? This is class war. The pondeshtchiki of course 
oppose the peasants, and the manufacturers oppose the work- 


ers. Are you going to allow the ranks of the proletariat t6 
be divided? Which side will you be on? 

**We, the Bolsheviki, are the party of the proletariat— of 
the peasant proletariat as well as the industrial proletariat. 
We, the Bolsheviki, are the protectors of the Soviets — «f the 
Peasants' Soviets as well as those of the Workers and Sol- 
diers. The present Government is a Grovemment of Soviets; 
we have not only invited the Peasants' Soviets to join that 
Government, but we have also invited representatives of the 
Left Socialist Revolutionaries to enter the Council of People's 
Conunissars. • . . 

"The Soviets are the most perfect representatives of the 
people — of the workers in the factories and mines, of the 
workers in the fields. Anybody who attempts to destroy the 
Soviets is guilty of an anti-democratic and counter-revolu- 
tionary act. And I serve notice here on you, comrades Right 
Socialist Revolutionaries — and on you, Messrs. Cadets — ^that 
if the Constituent Assembly attempts to destroy the Soviets, 
we shall not permit the Constituent Assembly to do this 

On the afternoon of November 25th Tchemov arrived in 
hot haste from Moghilev, summoned by the Executive Com- 
mittee. Only two months before considered an extreme revo- 
lutionist, and very popular with the peasants, he was now 
called to check the dangerous drift of the Congress toward 
the Left. Upon his arrival Tchernov was arrested and taken 
to Smolny, where, after a short conversation, he was re- 

His first act was to bitterly rebuke the Executive Com- 
mittee for leaving the Congress. They agreed to return, and 
Tchenjov entered the hall, welcomed with great applause by 
the majority, and the hoots and jeers of the Bolsheviki. 

"Comrades! I have been away. I participated in the 


Conference of the Twelfth Army on the question of calling 
a Congress of all the Peasant delegates of the armies of the 
Western Front, and I know very little about the insurrection 
which occurred here '* 

Zinoviev rose in his seat, and shouted, ^^es, you were 
away — for a few minutes!'* Fearful tumult. Cries, **Down 
with the Bolsheviki!" 

Tchemoy continued. ^^The accusation that I helped lead 
an army on Petrograd has no foundation, and is entirely false. 
Where does such an accusation come from? Show me the 
source !" 

Zinoviev: **Izvie8tia and Dielo Naroda — ^your own paper 
— ^that's where it comes from!*' 

Tchemov's wide face, with the small eyes, waving hair and 
greyish beard, became red with wrath, but he controlled him- 
self and went on. ^^I repeat, I know practically nothing about 
what has happened here, and I did not lead any^ army except 
this army, (he pointed to the peasant delegates), which I am 
largely responsible for bringing here !" Laughter, and shouts 
of "Bravo !" 

"Upon my return I visited Smolny. No such accusation 
was made against me there. • . . After a brief conversation 
I left — and that's all! Let any one present make such an 
accusation !'' 

An uproar followed, in which the Bolsheviki and some of 
the Left Socialist Revolutionaries were on their feet all at 
once, shaking their fists and yelling, and the rest of the assem- 
bly tried to yell them down. 

"This is an outrage, not a session!" cried Tchernov, and 
he left the hall; the meeting was adjourned because of the 
noise and disorder. • • • 

Meanwhile, the question of the status of the Executive 
Committee was agitating all minds. By declaring the assem- 


bly "Extraordinary Conference," it had been planned to block 
the reelection of the Executive Committee. But this worked 
both ways; the Left Socialist Revolutionists decided that if 
the Congress had no power over the Executive Committee, then 
the Executive Committee had no power over the Congress. 
On November 26th the assembly resolved that the powers of 
the Executive Committee be assumed by the Extraordinary 
Conference, in which only members of the Executive who had 
been elected as delegates might vote. ... 

The next day, in spite of the bitter opposition of the 
Bolsheviki, the resolution was amended to give all the members 
of the Executive Committee, whether elected as delegates or 
not, voice and vote in the assembly. 

On the 27th occurred the debate on the Land question, 
which revealed the differences between the agrarian programme 
of the Bolsheviki and the Left Socialist Revolutionaries. 

Kolchinsky, for the Left Socialist Revolutionaries, outlined 
the history of the Land question during the Revolution. The 
first Congress of Peasants' Soviets, he said, had voted a precise 
and formal resolution in favour of putting the landed estates 
immediately into the hands of the Land Committees. But the 
directors of the Revolution, and the bourgeois in the Govern- 
ment, had insisted that the question could not be solved until 
the Constituent Assembly met. • . . The second period of the 
Revolution, the period of "compromise,'* was signalled by the 
entrance of Tchemov into the Cabinet. The peasants were 
convinced that now the practical solution of the Land question 
would begin; but in spite of the imperative decision of the 
firat Peasant Congress, the reactionaries and conciliators in 
the Executive Committee had prevented any action. This 
policy provoked a series of agrarian disorders, which appeared 
as the natural expression of impatience and thwarted energy 
on the part of the peasants. The peasants understood the 


exact meaning of the Revolution — they tried to torn words 
into action. • • • 

"The recent events," said the orator, "do not indicate a 
simple riot, or a 'Bolshevik adventure,' but on the contrary, 
a real popular rising, which has been greeted with sympathy 
by the whole country. ... 

"The Bolsheviki in general took the correct attitude 
y toward the Land question; but in recommending that the 
peasants seize the land by force, they committed a profound 
error. . . . From the first days, the Bolsheviki declared that 
the peasants should take over the land *by revolutionary mass- 
action.' This is nothing but anarchy ; the land can be taken 
over in an organised manner. • • . For the Bolsheviki it was 
important that the problems of the Revolution should be 
solved in the quickest possible manner — but the Bolsheviki 
were not interested in how these problems were to be solved. . . • 

"The Land decree of the Congress of Soviets is identical 
in its fundamentals with the decisions of the first Peasants' 
Congress. Why then did not the new Government follow the 
tactics outlined by that Congress? Because the Council of 
1^ People's Conmiissars wanted to hasten the settlement of the 
Land question, so that the Constituent Assembly would have 
nothing to do. • . . 

"But also the Government saw that it was necessary to 
adopt practical measures, so without further reflection, it 
adopted the Regulations for Land Committees, thus creating 
a strange situation; for the Council of People's Commissars 
abolished private property in land, but the Regulations 
drawn up by the Land Committees are based on private 
property. . . • However, no harm has been done by that ; for 
the Land Committees are paying no attention to the Soviet de- 
crees, but are putting into operation their own practical 
decisions — decisions based on the will of the vast majority of 
the peasants. • • • 


^^hese Land Committees are not attempting the legislative 
solution of the Land question, which belongs to the Con- 
stituent Assembly alone. • . . But will the Constituent Assem- 
bly desire to do the will of the Russian peasants? Of that we 
cannot be sure. . . . All we can be sure of is that the revolu- 
tionary determination of the peasants is now aroused, and that 
the Constituent will be forced to settle the Land question the 
way the peasants want it settled. . . . The Constituent As- 
sembly will not dare to break with the will of the people. . . ." 

Followed him Lenin, listened to now with absorbing in- 
tensity. "At this moment we are not only trying to solve the 
Land question, but the question of Social Revolution — ^not 
only here in Russia, but all over the world. The Land ques- 
tion cannot be solved independently of the other problems of 
the Social Revolution. • . • For example, the confiscation of 
the landed estates will provoke the resistance not only of Rus- 
sian land-owners, but also of foreign capital — ^with whom the 
great landed properties are connected through the intermediary 
of the banks. ... 

"The ownership of the land in Russia is the basis for 
immense oppression, and the confiscation of the land by the 
peasants is the most important step of our Revolution. But 
it cannot be separated from the other steps, as is clearly 
manifested by the stages through which the Revolution has 
had to pass. The first stage was the crushing of autocracy 
and the crushing of the power of the industrial capitalists 
and land-owners, whose interests are closely related. The sec- 
ond stage was the strengthening of the Soviets and the political 
compromise with the bourgeoisie. The mistake of the Left 
Socialist Revolutionaries lies in the fact that at that time 
they did not oppose the policy of compromise, because they 
held the theory that the consciousness of the masses was not 
yet fully developed. . . . 

*7/ Socialism can orly he realised zt^hen the inieUectuat 


development of aU the people permits it^ then we shall not see 
Socialism for at least five hundred years. . . . The Socialist 
political party — this is the vanguard of the working-class; it 
must not allow itself to be halted by the lack of education of 
the mass average, but it must lead the masses, using the Soviets 
as organs of revolutionary initiative. . . . But in order to 
lead the wavering, the comrades Left Socialist Revolutionaries 
themselves must stop hesitating. . . . 

"In July last a series of open breaks began between the 
popular masses and the ^compromisers' ; but now, in Novem- 
ber, the Left Socialist Revolutionaries are still holding out their 
hand to Avksentiev, who is pulling the people with his little 
finger. . • • If Compromise continues, the Revolution disap- 
pears. No compromise with the bourgeoisie is possible; its 
power must be absolutely ,crushed. . . . 

^^We Bolsheviki have not changed our Land progranmie ; we 
have not given up the abolition of private property in the 
land, and we do not intend to do so. We adopted the Regula- 
tions for Land Committees, — ^which are not based on private 
property at all — ^because we want to accomplish the popular 
will in the way the people have themselves decided to do it, 
so as to draw closer the coalition of all the elements who are 
fighting for the Social Revolution. • 

"We invite the Left Socialist Revolutionaries to enter that 
coalition, insisting, however, that they cease looking backward, 
and that they break with the ^concilia tors' of their party. ♦ . . . 

"As far as the Constituent Assembly is concerned, it is 
true, as the preceding speaker has said, that the work of the 
Constituent will depend on the revolutionary determination of 
the masses. I say, ^Count on that revolutionary determina- 
tion, but don't forget your gun !' " 

Lenin then read the Bolshevik resolution: 

The Peasants' Congress^ fully supporting the Land decree of 
November 8th . . . approves of the Provisional Workers* and Peas- 


ants' Government of the Russian Republic^ established by the 
second All-Russian Congress of Soviets of Workers' and Soldiers' 

The Peasants' Congress . . . invites all peasants unanimously 
to sustain that law^ and to apply it immediately themselves; and 
at the same time invites the peasants to appoint to posts and posi- 
tions of responsibility only persons who have proved, not by words 
but by acts, their entire devotion to the interests of the exploited 
peasant-\workers, their desire and their ability to defend these in- 
terests against all resistance on the part of the great land-owners, 
the capitalists, their partisans and accomplices. . . . 

The Peasants' Congress, at the same time, expresses its con- 
viction that the complete realisation of all the measures whicb 
make up the Land decree can only be successful through the tri- 
umph of the Workers' Social Revolution, which began November 
7th, 1917; for only the Social Revolution can accomplish the defi- 
nite transfer, without possibility of return, of the land to the peas- 
ant-workers, the confiscation of model farms and their surrender 
to the peasant communes, the confiscation of agricultural machin- 
ery belonging to the great land-owners, the safe-guarding of the 
interests of the agricultural workers by the complete abolition of 
wage-slavery, the regular and methodical distribution among all 
regions of Russia of the products of agriculture and industry, and 
the seizure of the banks (without which the possession of land by 
the whole people would be impossible, after the abolition of pri- 
vate property), and all sorts of assistance by the State to the 
workers. ... 

For these reasons the Peasants' Congress sustains entirely the 
•Revolution of November 7th ... as a social revolution, and ex- 
presses its unalterable will to put into operation, with whatever 
modifications are necessary, but without any hesitation, the social 
transformation of the Russian Republic. 

The indispensable conditions of the victory of the Social Revo- 
lution, which alone will secure the lasting success and the com- 
plete realisation of the Land decree, is the close union of the peas- 
ant-workers with the industrial working-class, with the proletariat 
of all advanced countries. From now on, in the Russian Republic, 


all the organisation and administration of the State^ from top to 
bottom^ must rest on that onion. That nnion^ crushing all at- 
tempts, direct or indirect, open or dissimulated, to return to the 
poliey of conciliation with the bourgeoisie — conciliation, danmed 
by experience, with the chiefs of bourgeois politics — can alone in- 
sure the victory of Socialism throughout the world. . • • 

The reactionaries of the Executive Committee no longer 
dared openly to appear. Tchemov, however, spoke several 
times, with a modest and winning impartiality. He was invited 
to sit on the platform. • • • On the second night of the Con- 
gress an anonymous note was handed up to the chairman, re- 
questing that Tchemov be made honorary President. Ustinov 
read the note aloud, and immediately Zinoviev was on his feet, 
screaming that this was a trick of the old Executive Com- 
mittee to capture the convention; in a moment the hall was 
one bellowing mass of waving arms and angry faces, on both 
sides. . • . Nevertheless, Tchemov remained very popular. 

In the stormy debates on the Land question and the Lenin 
resolution, the Bolsheviki were twice on the point of quitting 
the assembly, both times i^strained by their leaders. • • • It 
seemed to me as if the Congress were hopelessly deadlocked. 

But none of us knew that a series of secret conferences 
were already going on between the Left Socialist Revolution- 
aries and the Bolsheviki at Smolny. At first the Left Socialist 
Revolutionaries had demanded that there be a Government 
composed of all the Socialist parties in and out of the Soviets, 
to be responsible to a People's Council, composed of an equal 
number of delegates from the Workers* and Soldiers' organisa- 
• tion, and that of the Peasants, and completed by representa- 
tives of the City Dumas and the Zemstvos ; Lenin and Trotzky 
were to be eliminated, and the Military Revolutionary Com- 
mittee and other repressive organs dissolved. 

Wednesday morning, November 28th, after a terrible all- 
night struggle, an agreement was reached. The Tsay^e-kah^ 


composed of 108 members, was to be augumenCed by 108 
members elected proportionally from the Peasants* Congress; 
by 100 delegates elected directly from the Army and the 
Fleet; and by 50 representatives of the Trade Unions 
(35 from the general Unions, 10 Railway Workers, and 6 
from the Post and Telegraph Workers). The Dumas and 
Zemstvos were dropped. Lenin and Trotzky remained in the 
Government, and the Military Revolutionary Committee con- 
tinued to function. 

The sessions of the Congress had now been removed to 
the Imperial Law School building, Fontanka 6, headquarters of 
the Peasants' Soviets. There in the great meeting-hall the 
delegates gathered on Wednesday afternoon. The old Execu- 
tive Committee had withdrawn, and was holding a rump con- 
vention of its own in another room of the same building, made 
up of bolting delegates and representatives of the Army Com- 

Tchemov went from one meeting to the other, keeping a 
watchful eye on the proceedings. He knew that an agreement 
with the Bolsheviki was being discussed, but he did not know 
that it had been concluded. 

He spoke to the rump convention. **At present, when 
everybody is in favour of forming an all-Socialist Govern- 
ment, many people forget the first Ministry, which was not 
a coalition Government, and in which there was only one 
Socialist — ^Kerensky ; a Gt)vemment which, in its time, was very 
popular. Now people accuse Kerensky; they forget that he 
was raised to power, not only by the Soviets, but also by the 
popular masses. . . • 

"Why did public opinion change toward Kerensky? The 
savages set up gods to which f hey pray, and which they punish 
if one of their prayers is not answered. . . . That is what 
is happening at this moment. . • . Yesterday Kerensky; to- 
day Lenin and Trotzky ; another to-morrow. • • • 


*^e have proposed to both Kerensky and the Bolsheviki 
to retire from the power. Kerensky has accepted — to-day he 
announced from his hiding-place that he has resigned as 
Premier; but the Bolsheviki wish to retain the power, and 
they do not know how to use it. . . • 

"If the Bolsheviki succeed, or if they fail, the fate of 
Russia will not be changed. The Russian villages under- 
stand perfectly what they want, and they are now carrying 
out their own measures. . • . The villages will save us in the 
* end. . . -*' 

In the meanwhile, in the great hall Ustinov had announced 
the agreement between the Peasants' Congress and Smolny, 
received by the delegates with the wildest joy. Suddenly 
Tchernov appeared, and demanded the floor. 

"I understand,*' he began, "that an agreement is being 
concluded between the Peasants' Congress and Smolny. Such 
an agreement would be illegal, seeing that the true Congress 
of Peasants' Soviets does not meet until next week. . . . 

"Moreover, I want to warn you now that the Bolsheviki 
will never accept your demands. . • •" 

He was interrupted by a great burst of laughter; and 
realising the situation, he left the platform and the room, 
taking his popularity with him. • • • 

Late in the afternoon of Thursday, November 16th, the 
Congress met in extraordinary session. There was a holiday 
feeling in the air; on every face was a smile. . . . The re- 
mainder of the business before the assembly was hurried 
through, and then old Natbanson, the white-bearded dean of 
the left wing of the Socialist Revolutionaries, his voice trem- 
bling and tears in his eyes, read the report of the "wedding" 
of the Peasants' Soviets with the Workers' and Soldiers' 
Soviets. At every mention of the word "union" there was 
ecstatic applause. ... At the end Ustinov announced the ar- 


rival of a delegation from Smolny, accompanied by representa- 
tives of the Red Army, greeted with a rising ovation. One 
after another a workman, a soldier and a sailpr took the floor, 
hailing them. 

Then Boris Reinstein, delegate of the American Socialist 
Labor Party: "The day of the union of the Congress of 
Peasants and the Soviets of Workers' and Soldiers' Deputies 
is one of the great days of the Revolution. The sound of it will 
ring with resounding echoes throughout the whole world — in 
Paris, in London, and across the ocean — ^in New York. This 
union will fill with happiness the hearts of all toilers. 

"A great idea has triumphed. The West, and America, 
expected from Russia, from the Russian proletariat, some- 
thing tremendous. . . . The proletariat of the world is wait- 
ing for the Russian Revolution, waiting for the great things 
that it is accomplishing. . . ." 

Sverdlov, president of the Tsay-ee-kah, greeted them. And 
with the shout, **Long live the end of civil war! Long live 
the United Democracy!" the peasants poured out of" the 

It was already dark, and on the ice-covered snow glittered 
the pale light of moon and star. Along the bank of the canal 
were drawn up in full marching order the soldiers of the 
Pavlovsky Regiment, with their band, which broke into the 
Marseillaise. Amid the crashing full-throated shouts of the 
soldiers, the peasants formed in line, unfurling the great red 
banner of the Executive Committee of the All-Russian Peas- 
ants' Soviets, embroidered newly in gold, "Long live the union 
-of the revolutionary and toiling masses!" Following were 
other banners; of the District Soviets — of Putilov Factory, 
which read, "We bow to this flag in order to create the 
brotherhood of all peoples !" 

From somewhere torches appeared, blazing orange in the 
night, a thousand times reflected in the facets of the ice. 


streaming out smokily oyer the throng as it moved down the 
bank of the Fontanka singing, between crowds that stood in 
astonished silence. 

'TiOng live the Revolutionary Armyl Long live the Red 
Guard ! Long live the Feasants !" 

So the great procession wound through the city, growing 
and unfurling ever new red banners lettered in gold. Two old 
peasants, bowed with toil, were walking hand in hand, their 
faces illumined with child-like bliss. 

*^Well/' said one, ^^I'd like to see them take away our land 
again, nowr* 

Near Smolny the Red Guard was lined up on both sides of 
the street, wild with delight. The other old peasant spoke 
to his comrade, ^'I am not tired," he said. ^*I walked on air 
all the way!*' 

On the steps of Smolny aboyt a hundred Workers' and 
Soldiers' Deputies were massed, with their banner, dark against 
the blaze of light streaming out between the arches. Like a 
wave they rushed down, clasping the peasants in their arms and 
kissing them ; and the procession poured in through the great 
door and up the stairs, with a noise like thunder. . . . 

In the immense white meeting-room the Tsaff-ee-ledh was 
waiting, with the whole Petrograd Soviet and a thousand spec- 
tators beside, with that solemnity which attends great con- 
scious moments in history. 

Zinoviev announced the agreement with the Feasants* Con- 
gress, to a shedding roar which rose and burst into storm as the 
sound of music blared down the corridor, and the head of 
the procession came in. On the platform the presidium rose 
and made place for the Feasants' presidium, the two embracing; 
behind them the two banners were intertwined against the 
white wall, over the empty frame from which the Tsar's picture 
had been torn. 

• • • 


Then opened the "triumphal session." After a few words 
of welcome from Sverdlov, Maria Spiridonova, slight, pale, 
with spectacles and hair drawn flatly down, and the air of 
a New England school-teacher, took the tribune — the most 
loved and the most powerful woman in all Russia. 

"... Before the workers of Russia open now horizons 
which history has never known. . . . All workers' movements 
in the past have been defeated. But the present movement 
is international, and that is why it is invincible. There is 
no force in' the world which can put out the fire of the Revo- 
lution! The old world crumbles down, the new world be- 
gins. . . ." 

Then Trotzky, full of fire: "I wish you welcome, com- 
rades peasants ! You come here not as guests, but as masters 
of this house, which holds the heart of the Russian Revolution. 
The will of millions of workers is now concentrated in this 
halL . • . There is now only one master of the Russian land : 
the union of the workers, soldiers and peasants. . . ." 

With biting sarcasm he went on to speak of the Allied 
diplomats, till then contemptuous of Russia's invitation to an 
armistice, which had been accepted by the Central Powers. 

"A new humanity will be bom of this war. ... In this 
hall w^ swear to workers of all lands to remain at our revo- 
lutionary post. If we are broken, then it will be in defending 
our flag. . . ." 

Krylenko followed him, explaining the situation at the 
front, where Dukhonin was preparing to resist the Council 
of People's Commissars. ^^Let Dukhonin and those with him 
understand well that we shall not deal gently with those who 
bar the road to peace !" 

Dybenko saluted the assembly in the name of the Fleet, and 
Krushinsky, member of the Vikzhel, said, "From this moment, 
when the union of all true Socialists is realised, the whole army 


of railway workers places itself absolutely at the disposition 
of the revolutionary democracy !" And Lunatcharsky, almost 
weeping, and Proshian, for the Left Socialist Revolutionaries, 
and finally Saharashvili, for the United Social Democrats 
Internationalists, composed of members of the Martov's and 
of Gorky's groups, who declared : 

"We left the Tsay-ee-kah because of the uncompromising 
policy of the Bolsheviki, and to force them to make concessions 
in order to realise the union of all the revolutionary democ- 
racy. Now that that union is brought about, we consider it 
a sacred duty to take our places once more in the Tsatf-ee- 
kah. . . . We declare that all those who have withdrawn from 
the Tsay-ee-kah should now return." 

Stachkov, a dignified old peasant of the presidium of the 
Peasants' Congress, bowed to the four comers of the room. 
"I greet you with the christening of a new Russian life and 
freedom !" 

Gronsky, in the name of the Polish Social Democracy; 
Skripnik, for the Factory-Shop Committees ; Tif onov, for the 
Russian soldiers at Salonika ; and others, interminaUy, speak- 
ing out of full hearts, with the happy eloquence of hopes 
fulfilled. . . . 

It was late in the night when the following resolution was 
put and passed unanimously: 

"The Tsay-ee-kahj united in extraordinary session with the 
Petrograd Soviet and the Peasants' Congress, confirms the 
Land and Peace decrees adopted by the second Congress of 
Soviets of Workers' and Soldiers' Deputies, and also the decree 
on Workers' Control adopted by the Tsay-ee-kah. 

"The joint session of the Tsay-ee-kah and the Peasants' 
Congress expresses its firm conviction that the union of 
workers, soldiers and peasants, this fraternal Union of all 
the workers and all the exploited, will consolidate the power 
conquered by them, that it will take all revolutionary measures 

From Nora Saiirlkmi. O^iJii 

IV (U'picil nuDiF for the 

Vntrlli): "One (idr, 


to hasten the passing of the power into the hands of the 
working-class in other countries, and that it will assure in 
this manner the lasting accomplishment of a just peace and 
the victory of Socialism.'' ^ 

1.1. I . 

. I 

'-■ > :^ 

if: irl 


■': ■■■ia 

" ' -. 
"I I 


' I 



OborontH — "Defenders." All the "moderate" Socialist groups adopted 
or were given this name, because they consented, to the continuation of 
the war under Allied leadership, on the ground that it was a war of 
National Defence. The Bolsheviki, the Left Socialist Revolutionaries, the 
Mensheviki Internationalists (Martov's faction), and the Social Democrats 
Internationalists (Gorky's group) were in favour of forcing tiie Allies to 
declare democratic war-aims, and to offer peace to Germany on those 
terms. . • • 



.The following tables of wages and costs were compiled, in October, 
1917, by a joint Committee from the Moscow Chamber of Commerce and 
the Moscow section of the Ministry of Labour, and published in Novaya 
Zhizn, October 26th, 1917: 

Wages Per Day — {Rubles and kopeks) 
Trade July 19U July 1916 August 1917 

Carpenter, Cabinet-maker 1.60 — 2. 4. —6. 8.50 

Terrassier l.SO — 1.50 8. — 3.50 

Mason, plasterer 1.70 — 2.85 4. — 6. 8. 

Painter, upholsterer 1.80 — 2.20 8. —5.50 8. 

Blacksmith 1. —2.25 4. —5. 8.50 

Chimney-sweep 1.50 — 2. 4. —5.50 7.50 

Lodwmith..^ 90 — 2. 8.5a— 6. 9. 

Helper 1. —1.50 2.50 — 4.50 8. 

In spite of numerous stories of gigantic advances in wages immediately 
following the Revolution of March, 1917, these figures, which were pub- 
lished by the Ministry of Labour as characteristic of conditions all over 
Russia, show that wages did not rise immediately after the Revolution, 
but little by little. On an average, wages increased slightly more than 
500 per cent. . . . 

But at the same time the value of the ruble fell to less than one-third 
its former purchasing power, and the cost of the necessities of life increased 

The following table was compiled by the Municipal Duma of Moscow, 
where food was cheaper and more plentiful than In Petrograd: 

Cost of Food— {Rubles and kopeks) 

August t9U August 1917 % Increase 

Blackbread {Fund) .Wt}i .12 830 

Whitebrcad " .05 .20 800 

Beef... * .22 1.10 400 

Veal •* .26 2.15 727 

Pork... " .28 2. 770 

Herring " .06 .52 767 

Cheese " 40 8.50 754 

Butter " -48 8.20 557 

Eggs (Dob,) .80 1.60 448 

Milk {Kruakka) .07 .40 471 

On an average, food increased in price 556 per cent, or 51 per cent w<q{t« 
than wages. 



As for the other necessities, the price of these increased tremendously. 

The following table was compiled by the Economic section of the Moscow 
Soviet of Workers' Deputies, and accepted, as correct by the Ministry of 
Supplies of the Provisional Government. 

Cost of Other Necessities — (Rubles and kopeks) 

August 19H August 1917 % Increase 

Calico (Arshin) .11 1.40 1173 

Cotton cloth " .15 2. * 1288 

Dress Goods " '2. 40. 1900 

Castor Cloth " 6. 80. 1288 

Men's Shoes (Pair) 12. 144. 1097 

Sole Leather 20. 400. 1900 

Rubbers (Pair) 2.50 15. 500 

Men's Clothing (Suit) 40. 400. - 455. 900 - 1109 

Tea (Fund) 4.50 18. 800 

Matches (Carton) .10 .50 400 

Soap (Pood) 4.50 40. 780 

Gasoline (Vedro) 1.70 11. 547 

Candles (Pood) 8.50 100. 1076 

Caramel (Fund) .80 4.50 1400 

Fire Wood (Load) 10. 120. 1100 

Charcoal .80 18. 1525 

Sundry Metal Ware 1. 20. 1900 


On an average, the above categories of necessities increased about 
1,109 per cent in price, more than twice the increase of salaries. The differ- 
ence, of course, went into the pockets of speculators and merdiants. 

In September, 1917, when I arrived in Petrograd, the average daily 
wage of a skilled industrial worker — for example, a steel-worker in the 
Putilov Factory — ^was about 8 rubles. At the same time, profits were enor- 
mous. ... I was told by one of the owners of the Thornton Woollen Mills, 
an English concern on the outskirts of Petrograd, that while wages had 
increased about 300 per cent in his factory, ms profits had gone up 900 
per cetU. 



The history of the efforts of the Socialists in the Provisional Government 
of July to realise their programme in coalition with the bourgeois Ministers, 
is an illuminating example of class struggle in politics. Says Lenin, in 
explanation of this phenomenon: 

'The capitalists, . . . seeing that the position of the Government was 
untenable, resorted to a method which since 1848 has been for decades 
practised by the capitalists in order to befog, divide, and finally overpower 
the working-class. This method is the so-called 'Coalition Ministry,* com- 
posed of bourgeois and of renegades from the Socialist camp. 

"In those countries where political freedom and democracy have existed 
side by side with the revolutionary movement of the workers — for example 
in England and France — the capitalists make use of this subterfuge, and 
very successfully too. The 'Socialist' leaders, upon entering the Ministries, 
invariably prove mere figure-heads, puppets, simply a shidd for the capi- 
talists, a tool with which to defraud the workers. The 'democratic* and 
'republican' capitalists in Russia set in motion this very same scheme. Tbe 
Socialist Revolutionaries and Mensheviki fell victim to it, and on June 1st 
a 'Coalition' Ministry, with the participation of Tchemov, Tseretelli, Sko- 
believ, Avksentiev, Savinkov, Zarudny and Nikitin became an accomplished 
fact . . .^— 'Problems of the ReDoWlxou, 



In the first week of October, 1917, Novaya Zhizn published the following 
comparative table of election results, pointing out that this meant the bank- 
ruptcy of the policy of Coalition with- the propertied classes. "If civil war 
can yet be avoided, it can only be done by a united front of all the revolu- 
tionary democracy. . . ." 

Elections for the Moscow Central and Ward Dumas 

June 1917 September 1917 

Socialist Revolutionaries 58 Members 14 Members 

Cadets 17 " 30 

Mensheviki 12 " 4 

Bolaheviki 11 " * 47 " 



September 18th. The Cadet Shulgin, writing in a Kiev newspaper, said 
that the Provisional Government's declaration that Russia was a Republic 
constituted a gross abuse of its powers, '^e cannot admit either a Repub- 
lic, or the present Republican Grovernment. . . . And we are not sure that 
we want a Republic in Russia. . . ." 

October 23d, At a meeting of the Cadet party held at Riazan, M. 
Dukhonin declared, "On March 1st we must establish a Constitutional Mon- 
archy. We must not reject the legitimate heir to the throne, Mikhail 
Alexandrovitch. . . ." 

October d7th. Resolution passed by the Conference of Business Men 
at Moscow; 

••The Conference . . . insists that the Provisional Government take the 
following immediate measures in the Army: 

"1. Forbidding of all political propaganda; the Army must be out of 

"3. Propaganda of antinational and international ideas and theories 
deny the necessity for armies, and hurt discipline; it should be forbidden, 
and all propagandists punished. . . . 

**3. The function of the Army Committees must be limited to economic 
questions exclusively. All their decisions should be confirmed by their supe- 
rior officers, who have the right to dissolve the Committees at any time. . . . 

"4. The salute to be reestablished, and made obligatory. Full reestab- 
lishment of disciplinary power in the hands of officers, with right of review 
of sentence. ... 

"5. Expulsion from the Corps of Officers of those who dishonour it by 
participating in the movement of the soldier-masses, which teaches them 
disobedience. . . . ReestabUshment for this purpose of the Courts of 
Honor. ... 

"6, The Provisional Government should take the necessary measures 
to make possible the return to the army of Generals and other officers un- 
justly discharged under the mfluence of Committees, and other irrespon- 
sible organisations. . . ." 



The Kornilov revolt is treated in detail in my forthcoming volume, 
••Kornilov to Brest-Litovsk." The responsibility of Kerensky for the situ- 
ation which gave rise to Kornilov's attempt is now pretty cleatlY «s^»Sa- 
lished. Many apologists for Kerensky say tnat Ave \avew oi "^ckXTv^orf^ ^«»&, 



and by a trick drew him outprematurely, and then crushed hhn. Even 
Mr. A. J. Sack, in bis book, 'The Birth of the Russian Democracy,** says: 

**Several things . . . are ahnost certain. The first is that Kerensl^ knew 
about the movement of several detachments from the Front toward Petro- 
grad, and it is possible that as Prime Minister and Minister of War, realis- 
ing the growing Bolshevist danger, he called for them. . . ." 

The only flaw in that argument is that there was no ''Bolshevist dan- 
ger" at that time, the Bolsheviki still being a powerless minority in tiie 
Soviets, and their leaders in jail or hiding. 



When the Democratic Conference was first proposed to Kerensky, he 
suggested an assembly of all the elements in the nation — **\he live forces," 
as he called them — including bankers, manufacturers, land-owners, and 
representatives of the Cadet party. The Soviet refused, and drew up the 
following table of representation, which Kerensky agreed to: 

100 delegates .... All-Russian Soviets Workers' and Soldiers* Deputies 
... All-Russian Soviets Peasants' D^uties 
. . .Provincial Soviets Workers' and Soldiers' Deputies 
. . .Peasants' District Land Committees 
. . .Trade Unions 

. . .Army Committees at the Front 
. . .Workers' and Peasants' Coc^>erative Sodeties 
. . .Railway Workers' Union 
. . .Post and Telegraph Workers' Union 
. . .Commercial Clerks 

. . .Liberal Professions — ^Doctors, Lawyers, Journalists, etc. 
. . .Provincial Zemstvos 
. . .Nationalist Organisations — ^Poles, Ukraineans, etc. 

This proportion was altered twice or three times. The final disposition 
of delegates was: 

800 delegates .... All-Russian Soviets Workers', Soldiers' & Peasants' Deputies 

800 Cooperative Societies 

. . .Municipalities 



















. . .Army Committees at the Front 

. . .Provincial Zemstvos 

. . .Trade Unions 

. . .Nationalist Organisations 

. . .Several small groups 



On September 28th, 1917, Izviestia, organ of the Tsa/y-ee^kah, published 
an article which said, speaking of the last Provisional Ministry: 

'*At last a truly democratic government, bom of the wHl of all classes 
of the Russian people, the first rough form of the future liberal parlia- 
mentary r^ime, has been formed. Ahead of us is the Constituent As- 
sembly, which will solve all questions of fundamental law, and whose com- 
position will be essentially democratic. The function of the Soviets is at an 
end, and the time is approaching when they must retire, witii the rest 
of the revolutionary machinery, from the stage of a free and victorious 
people, whose weapons shall hereafter be the peaceful ones of political 

The leading article of Izviestia for October 23d was called, '"The Crisis in 

the Soviet Organisations." It be^au by saying that travellers reported a 

lessening activity of local SovieU «vcr^\iiK^. *"TMa Na lOAtnral,'' said tiie 


writer. "For the people are becoming interested in the more permanent 
legislative organs— the Municipal Dumas and the Zemstvos. . . . 

"In the important centres of Petrograd and Moscow, where the Soviets 
were best organised, they did not take in all the democratic elements. . . . 
The majority of the intellectuals did not participate, and many workers 
also; some of the workers because they were politically backward, others 
because the centre of gravity for them was in their Unions. . . . We can- 
not deny that these organisations are firmly united with the masses, whose 
everyday needs are better served by them. . . . 

*That the local democratic administrations are being energetically or- 
ganised is highly important. ITie City Dumas are elected by universal 
su£frage, and in purely local matters have more authority than the Soviets. 
Not a single democrat will see anything wrong in this. . . . 

**. . . Elections to the Municipalities are being conducted in a better and 
more democratic way than the elections to the Soviets. . . . All classes are 
represented in the Municipalities. . . . And as soon as the local Self-Gov- 
ernments begin to organise life in the Municipalities, the rdle of the local 
Soviets naturally ends. . . . 

**. . . There are two factors in the falling off of interest in the Soviets. 
The first we may attribute to the lowering of political interest in the masses; 
the second, to the growing effort of provincial and local governing bodies 
to organise the buSding of new Russia. . . . The more the tendency lies 
in this latter direction, the sooner disappears the significance of tiie 
Soviets. • • • 

"We ourselves are being called the ^undertakers' of our own organisa- 
tion. In reality, we ourselves are the hardest workers in constructing the 
new Russia. . . . 

**When autocracy and the whole bureaucratic regime fell, we set up the 
Soviets as a barraclcB in which all the democracy could find temporary 
shelter. Now, instead of barracks, we are building the permanent edifice 
of a new system, and naturally the people will gradually leave the barracks 
for more comfortable quarters." 



"The purpose of the Democratic Conference, which was called by the 
Tsay-ee-kah, was to do away with the irresponsible personal government 
which produced Kornilov, and to establish a responsible government which 
would be capable of finishing the war, and ensure the calling of the Con- 
stituent Assembly at the given time. In the meanwhile, behind the back of 
the Democratic Conference, by trickery, by deals between Citizen Kerensky, 
the Cadets, and the leaders of the Menshevik and Socialist Revolutionary 
parties, we received the opposite result from the officially announced pur- 
pose. A power was created around which and in which we have open and 
secret Kornilovs playing leading parts. The irresponsibility of the Gov- 
ernment is offically proclaimed, when it is announced that the Council of 
the Russian Republic is to be a consultative and not a legislative body. 
In the eighth month of the Revolution, the irresponsible Government cre- 
ates a cover for itself in this new edition of Bieligen's Duma. 

**The propertied classes have entered this Provisional Council in a pro- 
portion which clearly shows, from elections all over the country, that many 
of them have no right here whatever. In spite of that the Cadet party, 
which until yesterday wanted the Provisional Government to be respon- 
sible to the State Duma — ^this same Cadet party secured the independence 
of the Government from the Council of the Republic. In the Constituent 
Assembly the propertied classes will no doubt have a less favourable posi- 
tion than they have in this Council, and they will not be %fe\fc \a \jfc>x\^- 
sponsible to the Constituent Assembly. 


"If the propertied classes were really getting ready for the Constitaent 
Assembly six weeks from now, there coiud be no reason for establishing 
the irresponsibility of the Government at this tim& The whole troth is 
that the bourgeoisie, which directs the policies of the Provisional Gov- 
ernment, has for its aim to break the Constituent Assembly. At present 
this is the main purpose of the propertied classes, which control our entire 
national policy—external and internal. In the industrial, agrarian and 
supply departments the politics of the propertied classes, acting with the 
Government, increases the natural disorganisation caused by the war. The 
propertied classes, which are provoking a peasants' revolt! Hie propertied 
classes, which are provoking civil war, and openly hold their course on the 
bony hand of hunger, with which they intend to overthrow the Revolution 
and finish with the Constituent Assembly! 

**No less criminal also is the international policy of the bourgeoisie and 
its Government After forty months of war, the capital is threatened niith 
mortal danger. In reply to this arises a plan to move the Government to 
Moscow. The idea of abandoning the capital does not stir the indignation 
of the bourgeoisie. Just the opposite. It is accepted as a natural part 
of the general policy designed to promote counter-revolutionary conspiracy. 
. . . Instead of recognising that the salvation of the country lies in con- 
cluding peace, instead of throwing openly the idea of immediate peace to 
all the worn-out peoples, over the heads of diplomats and imperialists, and 
making the continuation of the war impossible, — the Provisional Govern* 
ment, by order of the Cadets, the Counter-Revolutionists and the Alli^ 
Imperialists, without sense, without purpose and without a plan, con- 
tinues to drag on the murderous war, sentencing to useless death new hun- 
dreds of thousands of soldiers and sailors, and preparing to give up Petro-* 
grad, and to wreck the Revolution. At a time when Bolshevik soldiers and 
sailors are dying with other soldiers and sailors as a result of the mistakes 
and crimes of others, the so-called Supreme Commander (Kerensl^) con- 
tinues to suppress the Bolshevik press. The leading parties of the Council 
are acting as a voluntary cover for these policies. 

"We, the faction of Social Democrats Bolsheviki, announce that with 
this Government of Treason to the People we have nothing in common. 
We have nothing in common with the work of these Murderers of the 
People which goes on behind official curtains. We refuse either directly 
or indirectly to cover up one day of this work. While Wilhelm's troops 
are threatening Petrograd, the Government of Kerensky and Komilov is 
preparing to run away from Petrograd and turn Moscow into a base of 
counter-revolution ! 

"We warn the Moscow workers and soldiers to be on their guard. Leav- 
ing this Council, we appeal to the manhood and wisdom of the workers, 
peasants and soldiers of all Russia. Petrograd is in danger! The Revolu- 
tion is in danger! The Government has increased the danger — ^the ruling 
classes intensify it. Only the people themselves can save themselves and the 

"We appeal to the people. Long live immediate, honest, democratic 
peace! All power to the Soviets! All land to the people! Long live the 
Constituent Assembly P' 




(Passed by the Tsay-ee-kah and given to Skobeliev as an instruction for 
the representative of the Russian Revolutionary democracy at the Paris 

The peace treaty must be based on the principle, **No annexations, no 
^''"tnities, the right of se\f-deV,eTro\Tv«LWox\ oi ^5«a^«&r 


TerrUoriaX Problems 

(1) Evacuation of German troops from invaded Russia. Full right 
of self-determination to Poland, Lithuania and Livonia. 

(2) For Turkish Armenia autonomy, and later complete self-determi- 
nation, as soon as local Governments are established. 

(3) The question of Alsace-Lorraine to be solved by a plebiscite, after 
the withdrawal of all foreign troops. 

(4) Belgium to be restored. Compensation for damages from an inter- 
national fund. 

(5) Serbia and Montenegro to be restored, and aided by an inter- 
national relief fund. Serbia to have an outlet on the Adriatic. Bosnia 
and Herzegovina to be autonomous. 

(6) The disputed provinces in the Balkans to have provisional auton- 
omy, followed by a plebiscite. 

(7) Rumania to be restored, but forced to give complete self- 
determination to the Dobrudja. . . . Rumania must be forced to execute the 
clauses of the Berlin Treaty concerning the Jews, and recognise them as 
Rumanian citizens. 

(8) In Italia Irridenta a provisional autonomy, followed by a ple- 
biscite to determine state dependence. 

(9) The German colonies to be returned. 

(10) Greece and Persia to be restored. 

Freedom of the Seas 

All straits opening into inland seas, as well as the Suez and Panama 
Canals, are to be neutralised. Commercial shipping to be free. The right 
of privateering to be abolished. The torpedoing of commercial ships to 
be forbidden. 


All combatants to renounce demands for any indemnities, either direct 
or indirect — as, for instance, charges for the maintenance of prisoners. 
Indemnities and contributions collected during the war must be refunded. 

Economic Terms ' 

Commercial treaties are not to be a part of the peace terms. Every 
country must be independent in its commercial relations, and must not 
be obliged to, or prevented from, concluding an economic treaty, by the 
Treaty of Peace. Nevertheless, all nations should bind themselves, by the 
Peace Treaty, not to practise an economic blockade after the war, nor to 
form separate tariff agreements. The right of most favoured nation must 
be given to all countries without distinction. 

Guarantees of Peace 

Peace is to be concluded at the Peace Conference by delegates elected 
by the national representative institutions of each country. The peace terms 
are to be confirmed by these parliaments. 

Secret diplomacy is to be abolished; all parties are to bind themselves 
not to conclude any secret treaties. Such treaties are declared in contra- 
diction to international law, android. All treaties, until confirmed by the 
parliaments of the different nations, are to be considered void. 

Gradual disarmament both on land and sea, and the establishment of 
a militia system. The "League of Nations" advanced by President Wilson 
may become a valuable aid to international law, provided that (a), all 
nations are to be obliged to participate in it with equal rights, and (h\. 
international politics are to be democratised. 


Ways to Peace 

The Allies are to announce immediately that they are willing to open 
peace negotiations as soon as the enemy powers declare their consent to 
the renunciation of all forcible annexations. 

The Allies must bind themselves not to begin any peace negotiations, 
nor to conclude peace, except in a general Peace Conference with the par- 
ticipation of delegates from all the neutral countries. 

All obstacles to the Stockholm Socialist Conference are to be removed, 
and passports are to be given immediately to all delegates of parties and 
organisations who wish to participate. 

(The Executive Committee of the Peasants' Soviets also issued a nakaz, 
which differs little from the above.) 

PEACE AT Russia's expense 

The Ribot revelations of Austria's peace-offer to France; the so-called 
"Peace Conference'* at Berne, Switzerland, during the summer of 1917, in 
which delegates participated from all belligerent countries, represent- 
ing large financial interests in all these countries; and the attempted 
negotiations of an English agent with a Bulgarian church dignitary; 
all pointed to the fact that there were strong currents, on both 
sides, favourable to patching up a peace at the expense of Russia. In 
my next book, "Kornilov to Brest-Litovsk," I intend to treat this matter 
at some length, publishing several secret documents discovered in the Min- 
istry of Foreign Affairs at Petrograd. 



Official Report of the Provisional Oovemment, 

''From the time the news of the Russian Revolution reached Paris, Rus- 
sian newspapers of extreme tendencies immediately began to appear; and 
these newspapers, as well as individuals, freely circulated among the soldier 
masses and began a Bolshevik propaganda, often spreading false news which 
appeared in the French journals. In the absence of all official news, and of 
precise details, this campaign provoked discontent among the soldiers. The 
result was a desire to return to Russia, and a hatred toward the officers. 

"Finally it all turned into rebellion. In one of their meetings, the sol- 
diers issued an appeal to refuse to drill, since they had decided to fight 
no more. It was decided to isolate the rebels, and General Zankievitch 
ordered all soldiers loyal to the Provisional Government to leave the camp 
of Courtine, and to carry with them all ammunition. On June 25th the 
order was executed; there remained at the camp only the soldiers who said 
they would submit 'conditionally' to the Provisional Government. The sol- 
diers at the camp of Courtine received several times the visit of the Com- 
mander-in-Chief of the Russian Armies abroad, of Rapp, the Commissar of 
the Ministry of War, and of several distinguished former exiles who wished 
to influence them, but these attempts were unsuccessful, and finally Com- 
missar Rapp insisted that the rebels lay down their arms, and, in sig^ of 
submission, march in good order to a place called Clairvaux. The order 
was only partially obeyed; first 500 men went out, of whom 92 were ar- 
rested; 24> hours later about 6,000 followed. . . . About 9,000 re- 
mained. . . . 

"It was decided to increase the pressure; their rations were diminished, 

their pay was out off, and the roads toward the village of Courtine were 

guarded by French soldiers. General Zankievitch, having discovered that a 

Russian artillery brigade was passing through France, decided to form a 

mixed detachment of infantry and at^SKLerj \» T^^iRa. the rebels. A depa- 


tation was sent to the rebels ; the deputation returned several hours later, con- 
vinoed of the futility of the negotiations. On September 1st General Zan- 
kievitch sent an ultimatum to the rebels demanding that they lay down 
their arms, and menacing in case of refusal to open fire with artillery 
if the order was not obeyed by September 3d at 10 o'clock. 

"The order not being executed, a light fire of artillery was opened on the 
place at tlie hour agreed upon. Eighteen shells were fired, and the rebels 
were warned that the bombardment would become more intense. In the 
night of September 3d 160 men surrendered. September 4th the artillery 
bombardment recommenced, and at 11 o'clock, after 36 shells had been 
fired, the rebels raised two white flags and began to leave the camp without 
arms. By evening 8^00 men had surrendered. 150 soldiers who remained in 
the camp opened fire with machine-guns that night. The 5th of September, 
to make an end of the affair, a heavy barrage was laid on the camp, and 
our soldiers occupied it little by little. The rebels kept up a heavy fire 
with their machine-guns. September 6th, at 9 o'clock, the camp was entirely 
occupied. . . . After the disarmament of the rebels, 81 arrests were 
made. ..." 

Thus the report. From secret documents discovered in the Ministry of 
Foreign Affairs, however, we know that the account is not strictly accurate. 
The first trouble arose when the soldiers tried to form Committees, as their 
comrades in Russia were doing. They demanded to be sent back to Russia, 
which was refused; and then, being considered a dangerous influence in 
France, they were ordered to Salonika. They refused to go, and the battle 
followed. ... It was discovered that they had been left in camp without 
officers for about two months, and badly treated, before they became rebel- 
lious. All attempts to find out the name of the "Russian artillery brigade" 
which had fired on them were futile; the telegrams discovered in the Minis- 
try left it to be inferred that French artillery was used. . . , 

After their surrender, more than two hundred of the mutineers were shot 
in cold blood. 



"... The questions of foreign policy are closely related to those of 
national defence. . . . And so, if in questions of national defence you 
think it is necessary to hold session in secret, also in our foreign policy we 
are sometimes forced to observe the same secrecy. . . . 

"German diplomacy attempts to influence public opinion. , . . There- 
fore the declarations of directors of great democratic organisations who 
t^lk loudly of a revolutionary Congress, and the impossibility of another 
winter campaign, are dangerous. . . . All these declarations cost human 
lives. . . . 

"1 wish to speak merely of governmental logic, without touching the 
questions of the honour and dignity of the State. From the point of view of 
logic, the foreign policy of Russia ought to be based on a real compre- 
hension of the mterests of Russia. . . . These interests mean that it is 
impossible that our country remain alone, and that the present alignment of 
forces with us, (the Allies), is satisfactory. ... All humanity longs 
for peace, but in Russia no one will permit a humiliating peace which would 
violate the State interests of our fatherland!" 

The orator pointed out that such a peace would for long years, if not 
for centuries, retard the triumph of democratic principles in the world, and 
would inevitably cause new wars. 

"All remember the days of May, when the fraternisation on our Front 
threatened to end the war by a simple cessation of military operations, and 
lead the coimtry to a shameful separate peace . . . w\d "snVvbX. ^^^V«» '^ 
was necessaiy to use to make the soldier masses a\. VJ&a ttocX. -^si.^^t^ws^^ 


that it was not by this metliod that the Russian State must end the war and 
guarantee its interest ..." 

He spoke of the miraculous effect of tlie July offensive, what strength 
it gave to the words of Russian ambassadors abroad, and the despair in 
Germany caused by tlie Russian victories. And also, the disillusionment in 
Allied countries which followed the Russian defeat. . . . 

"As to the Russian Government, it adhered strictly to the formula of 
May, *No annexations and no punitive indemnities.' We consider it essen- 
tial not only to proclaim the self-determination of peoples, but also to re- 
nounce imperialist aims. ..." 

Germany is continually trying to make peace. The only talk in Germany 
is of peace ; she knows she cannot win. 

"I reject the reproaches aimed at the Government which allege that 
Russian foreign policy does not speak clearly enough about the alms of 
the war. • . . 

'^If the question arises as to what ends the Allies are pursuing, it is in- 
dispensable first to demand what aims the Central Powers have agreed 
upon. ... 

'"The desire is often heard that we publish the details of the treaties 
which bind the Allies; but people forget that, up to now, we do not know 
the treaties which bind the Central Powers. ..." 

Germany, he said, evidently wants to separate Russia from the West by 
a series of weak buffer-states. 

"This tendency to strike at the vital interests of Russia must be 
checked. . . . 

'^And will the Russian democracy, which has inscribed on its banner 
the rights of nations to dispose of themselves, idlow calmly the continua- 
tion of oppression upon the most civilised peoples (in Austria^Hungary) ? 

"Those who fear that the Allies will try to profit by our difficult situation, 
to make us support more than our share of the burden of war, and to 
solve the questions of peace at our expense, are entirely mistaken. . . . 
Our enemy looks upon Russia as a market for its products. The end of 
the war will leave us in a feeble condition, and with our frontier open tlie 
flood of German products can easily hold back for years our industrial 
development. Measures must be taken to guard against this. . . . 

"I say openly and frankly: the combination of forces which unites us 
to the Allies is favourable to the interests of Russia, ... It is therefore 
important that our views on the questions of war and peace shall be in 
accord with the views of the Allies as clearly and precisely as possible. . . . 
To avoid ail misunderstanding, I must say franluy that Russia must pre- 
sent at the Paris Conference one point of view . . .'' 

He did not want to comment on the nakaz to Skobeliev, but he referred 
to the Manifesto of the Dutch-Scandinavian Committee, just published in 
Stockholm. This Manifesto declared for the autonomy of Lithuania and 
Livonia; "but that is clearly impossible," said Terestchenko, "for Russia 
must have free ports on the Baltic all the year round. . . . 

"In this question the problems of foreign policy are also closely related 
to interior politics, for if there existed a strong sentiment of unity of all 
great Russia, one would not witness the repeated manifestations, every- 
where, of a desire of peoples to separate from the Central Government. , . . 
Such separations are contrary to the interests of Russia, and the Russian 
delegates cannot raise the issue. . . /' 




At the time of the naval battle of the Gulf of Riga, not only the 
Bolsheviki, but also the M\n\sV.eTa oi VJOft VTosSaVoxial Government, con- 


sidered that the British Fleet had deliberately abandoned the Baltic, as one 
indication of the attitude so often expressea publicly by the British press, 
and semi-publicly by British representatives in Russia, ''Russia's finished I 
No use bothering about Russia T 

See interview with Kerensky (Appendix 13), 

General Gurko was a former Chief of Staff of the Russian armies 
under the Tsar. He was a prominent figure in the corrupt Imperial Court. 
After the Revolution, he was one of the very few persons exiled for his 
political and personal record. The Russian naval defeat in the Gulf of 
Riga coincided with the public reception, by King George in London, of 
General Gurko, a man whom the Russian Provisiontd Government considered 
dangerously pro-German as well as reactionary! 



To Workers and Soldiers 

"Comrades! The Dark Forces are increasingly trying to call forth in 
Petrograd and other towns Disorders and Pogroms, Disorder is necessary 
to the Dark Forces, for disorder will give them an opportunity for crush- 
ing the revolutionary movement in blood. Under the pretext of establish- 
ing order, and of protecting the inhabitants, they hope to establish the dom- 
ination of Kornilov, which the revolutionary people succeeded in sup- 
pressing not long ago. Woe to the people if these hopes are realised ! The 
triumphant counter-revolution will destroy the Soviets and the Army Com- 
mittees, will disperse the Constituent Assembly, will stop the transfer of 
the land to the Land Committees, will put an end to all the hopes of the 
people for a speedy peace, and will fill all the prisons with revolutionary 
soldiers and workers. 

''In their calculations, the counter-revolutionists aitd Black Hundred 
leaders are counting on the serious discontent of the unenlightened part of 
the people with the disorganisation of the food-supply, the continuation of 
the war, and the general difficulties of life. They hope to transform every 
demonstration of soldiers and workers into a pogrom, which will frighten 
the peaceful population and throw it into the arms of the Restorers of 
Law and Order. 

"Under such conditions every attempt to organise a demonstration in 
these days, although for the most laudable object, would be a crime. All 
conscious workers and soldiers who are displeased with the policy of the 
Government will only bring injury to themselves and to the Reyolution if 
they indulge in demonstrations. 

"Therefore the Tsay-ee-kah asks all workers not to obey ant calls 
TO demonstrate. 

"Workers and Soldiers! Do not yield to provocation! Remember 

TO BE unsuccessful!^ 

The Central Executive Committee of the Soviets of Workers' and 

Soldiers' Deputies (Tsay-ee-kah) 

» * * * 

Russian Social Democratic Labour Party 

To All Workers and Soldiers 

(Bead and Hand to Others) 

Comrades Workers and Soldiers I 

"Our country is in danger. On account of this danger our freedom 
and our Revolution are passing through difficult days. Tha «msk5 S^ ^X 


the gates of Petrograd. The disorganisation is growing with every hour. 
It becomes more and more difficult to obtain bread for Petrograd. AH, aU 
from the smallest to the greatest, must redouble their efforts, must en- 
deavour to arrange things properly. . . . We must save our country, save 
freedom. . . . More arms and provisions for the Army! Bread — for the 
great cities. Order and organisation in the coimtry. . . . 

**And in these terrible critical days rumours creep about that Somewheu 
a demonstration is being prepared, that Some Oke is calling on the sol- 
diers and workers to destroy revolutionary peace and order. . . . Rabotehi 
Put, the newspaper of the Bolsheviki, is pouring oil on the flames: it is 
flattering, trying to please the unenlightened people, tempting the workers 
and soldiers, urging niem on against the Government, promising them moun- 
tains of good things. . . . The conflding, ignorant men believe, they do not 
reason. . . , And from the other side come also rumours — ^rumours that the 
Dark Forces, the friends of the Tsar, the German spies, are rubbing their 
hands with glee. They are ready to join the Bolsheviki, and with them fan 
the disorders into dvU war. 

'*The Bolsheviki and the ignorant soldiers and workers seduced by them 
cry senselessly: *Down with the Government! All power to the &)vietsr 
And the Dark servants of the Tsar and the spies of Wilhelm will egg them 
on; *Beat the Jews, beat the shopkeepers, rob the markets, devastate the 
shops, pillage the wine stores! Slay, bum, robP 

"And then will begin a terrible confusion, a war between one part of the 
people and the other. All will become still more disorganised, and perhaps 
once more blood will be shed on the streets of the capital. And then — 
what then? 

"Then, the road to Petrograd will be open to Wilhelm. Then, no bread 
will come to Petrograd, the children will die of hunger. Then, the Army at 
the front will remain without support, our brothers In the trenches will be 
delivered to the fire of the enemy. Then, Russia will lose all prestige in 
other countries, our money will lose its value; everything will be so dear as 
to make life impossible. Then, the long awaited Constihient Assembly will 
be postponed — it will be impossible to convene it in time. And then — 
Death to the Revolution, Deatii to our Liberty. . . . 

"Is it this that you want, workers and soldiers? No! If you do not, 
then go, go to the ignorant people seduced by the betrayers, and tell them 
the whole truth, which we have told you ! 

"Let all know that every man who ik these tebriblb days calls ok you 


"Every conscious worker revolutionist, every conscious peasant, every 
revolutionary soldier, all who understand what harm a demonstration or a 
revolt against the Government might cause to the people, must join together 
and not allow the enemies of the people to destroy our freedom." 

The Petrograd Electoral Committee of th^ Meneh^vUd-^borontii, 



This series of articles appeared in Rabotehi Put several days running, at 
the end of October and beginning of November, 1917. I give here only 
extracts from two instalments: 

"1. Kameniev and Riazanov say that we have not a majority amcmg the 
people, and that without a majority insurrection is hopeless. 

"Answer: People capable of speaking such things are falsifiers, pedants, 
or simply don't want to look \.Yve t^«\ ^Wx^a^qh In the face. In the last 


Sections wc received in all the country more than fifty per cent of all the 
votes. . . . 

'*The most important thing in Russia to-day is the peasants' revolution. 
In Tambov Government there has been a real agrarian uprising with wonder- 
ful political results. . . . Even Dielo Naroda has been scared into ydling 
that the land must be turned over to the peasants, and not only the Socialist 
Revolutionaries in the Council of the Republic, but also the Government 
itself, has been similarly affected. Another valuable result was the bringing 
of bread which had been hoarded by the pomieshtchiki to the railroad sta- 
tions in that province. The Busskaya Volia had to admit that the stations 
were filled with bread after the peasants' rising. . . . 

"3. We are not sufficiently strong to take over the Government, and the 
bourgeoisie is not sufficiently strong to prevent the Constituent Assembly. 

"Answer: This is nothing but timidity, expressed by pessimism as re- 
gards worisers and soldiers, and- optimism as regards the failure of the bour- 
geoisie. If yunkers and Cossacks say they will fight, you believe them; if 
workmen and soldiers say so, you doubt it. What is the distinction between 
such doubts and siding politically with the bourgeoisie? 

"Kornilov proved that the Soviets were re«dly a power. To believe 
Kerensky and the Council of the Republic, if the bourgeoisie is not strong 
enough to break the Soviets, it is not strong enough to break the Constitu- 
ent. But that is wrong. The bourgeoisie will break the Constituent by sa- 
botage, by lock-outs, by giving up Petrograd, by opening the front to the 
Germans. This has already been done in the case of Riga. ..." 

**3. The Soviets must remain a revolver at the head of the Government 
to force the calling of the Constituent Assembly, and to suppress any fur- 
ther Kornilov attempts. '^ 

"Answer: Refusal of insurrection is refusal of *A11 Power to the 
Soviets.' Since September the Bolshevik party has been discussing the ques- 
tion of insurrection. Refusing to rise means to trust our hopes in the 
faith of the good bourgeoisie, who have *promised' to call the Constituent 
Assembly. When the Soviets have all the power, the calling of the Con- 
stituent is guaranteed, and its success assured. ^ 

"Refusal of insurrection means surrender to the *Lieber-Dans.' Either 
wc must drop 'All Power to the Soviets' or make an insurrection; there is 
no middle course." 

"4. Tlie bourgeoisie cannot give up Petrograd, although the Rodziankos 
want it, because it is not the bourgeoisie who are fighting, but our heroic 
soldiers and sailors. 

"Answer: This did not prevent two admirals from running away at the 
Moonsund battle. The Staff has not changed; it is composed of Korn- 
ilovtsi. If the Staff, with Kerensky at its head, wants to give up Petro- 
grad, it can do it doubly or trebly. It can make arrangements with the 
Germans or the British; open the fronts. It can sabotage the Army's food 
supply. At all these doors has it knocked. 

"We have no right to wait until the bourgeoisie chokes the Revolution. 
Rodzianko is a man of action, who has faithfully and truthfully served the 
bourgeoisie for years. . . . Half the Lieber-Dans are cowardly compro- 
misers; half of them simple fatalists. ..." 

"5. We're getting stronger every day. We shall be able to enter the 
Constituent Assembly as a strong opposition. Then why should we play 
everything on one card?" 

"Answer: This is the argument of a sophomore with no practical ex- 
perience, who reads that the Constituent Assembly is being called and trust- 
fully accepts the legal and constitutional way. Even the voting of the 
Constituent Assembly will not do away with hunger, or beat Wilhemi. . . . 
The Issue of hunger and of surrendering Petrograd cannot be decided by 
waiting for the (5)nstituent Assembly. Hunger is t\o\. -wftaX-Vsv^, Ttoa ^^"»&- 


ants* Revolution is not waiting. Tlie Admirals Wlio ran away did not wait. 

**Blind pe(^le are surprised that hungry people, betrayed by admirals 
and generals, ao not take an interest in voting. 

"6. If the Komilovtsi make an attempt, we would show them our 
strength. But why should we risk everything by making an attempt our- 

•'Answer: History doesn't repeat. 'Perhaps Komilov will some day 
make an attempt P What a serious base for proletarian action! But sup- 
pose Kornilov waits for starvation, for the opening of the fronts, what then? 
This attitude means to build the tactics of a revolutionary par^ on one of 
the bourgeoisie's former mistakes. 

''Let us forget everything except that there is no way out but by the 
dictatorship of the proletariat — either that or the dictatorship of Koniilov. 

"Let MS wait, comrades, for — a miracle T 

MiuuKov's SPEECH (BstwnS) 

"Every one admits, it seems, that the defence of the country is our 
principal task, and that, to assure it, we must have discipline in the Army 
and order in the rear. To achieve this, there must be a power capable 
of daring, not only by persuasion, but also by force. . . . The germ of 
all our evils comes from the point of view, original, truly Russian, concern- 
ing foreign policy, which passes for the Internationalist point of view. 

"Hie noble Lenin only imitates the noble Keroyev^nr when he hc^ds 
that from Russia will come the New World which shall resuscitate the 
aged West, and which will replace the old banner of doctrinary Sodalism 
by the new direct action of starving masses — and that will push humanity 
forward and force it to break in the doors of the social paradise. ..." 

These men sincerely believed that the decomposition of Russia would 
bring about the decomposition of the whole capitalist regime. Starting from 
that point of view, they were able to commit the unconscious treason, in 
wartime, of calmly telling the soldiers to abandon the trenches, and instiead 
of fighting the external enemy, creating internal civil war and attacking 
the proprietors and capitalists. . . • 

Here Miliukov was mterrupted by furious cries from the Left, demand- 
ing what Socialist had ever advised such action. ... 

"Martov says that only the revolutionary pressure of the proletariat 
can condemn and conquer the evil will of imperalist cliques and break down 
the dictatorship of these cliques. . . . Not by an accord between Govern- 
ments for a limitation of armaments, but by the disarming of these Gov- 
ernments and the radical democratisation of the military system* ..." 

He attacked Martov viciously, and then turned on the Mensheviki and 
Socialist Revolutionaries, whom he accused of entering the Government 
as Ministers with the avowed purpose of carrying on the class- 
struggle ! 

"The Socialists of Germany and of the Allied countries contemplated 
these gentlemen with ill-concealed contempt, but they decided tiiat it waa 
for Russia, and sent us some apostles of the Universal Conflagration. . . . 

"The formula of our democracy is very simple; no foreign policy, no 
art of diplomacy, an immediate democratic peace, a declaration to Uie 
Allies, 'We want nothing, we haven't an3rthing to flght with P And then our 
adversaries will make the same declaration, and the brotherhood of peoples 
will be accomplished P' 

Miliukov took a fling at the Zimmerwald Manifesto, and declared that 
even Kerenslcy has not been able to escape the influence of "liiat unhappy 
document which will forever be your indictment." He then attacked 
Skobeliev, whose position in foteV^ assemblies, where he would appear as a 


Russian delegate, yet opposed to the foreign policy of his Government, 
would be so strange that people would say, "What's that gentleman car- 
rying, and what shall we talk to him about?" As for the nakaz, Miliukov 
said that he himself- was a pacifist; that he believed in the creation of an 
International Arbitration Board, and the necessity for a limitation of arma- 
ments, and parliamentary control over secret diplomacy, which did not mean 
the abolition of secret diplomacy. 

As for the Socialist ideas in the nakaz, which he called "Stockholm 
ideas" — ^peace without victory, the right of selfHdetermination of peoples, 
and renunciation of the economic war — ^ 

"The German successes are directly proportionate to the successes 
of those who call themselves the revolutionary democracy. I do not wish to 
say, *to the successes of the Revolution,' because I believe that the defeats 
of the revolutionary democracy are victories for the Revolution. . . , 

"The influence of the Soviet leaders abroad is not unimportant. One had 
only to listen to the speech of the Minister of Foreign Affairs to be con- 
vinced that, in this hall, the influence of the revolutionary democracy on 
foreign policy is so strong, that the Minister does not dare to speak face 
to face with it about the honour and dignity of Russia I 

"We can see, in the nakaz of the Soviets, that the ideas of the Stock- 
holm Manifesto have been elaborated in two directions — ^that of Utopian- 
ism, and that of German interests. ..." 

Interrupted by the angry cries of the Left, and rebuked by the Presi- 
dent, Miliukov insisted that the proposition of peace concluded by popular 
assemblies, not by diplomats, and the proposal to undertake peace nego- 
tiations as soon as the enemy had renounced annexations, were pro-German. 
Recently Kuhlman said that a personal declaration bound only him who 
made it. . . ^ "Anyway, we will imitate the Germans before we will imitate 
the Soviet of Workers' and Soldiers' Deputies. ..." 

The sections treating of the indep^dence of Lithuania and Livonia were 
symptoms of nationalist agitation in different parts of Russia, supported, 
said Miliukov, by German money. . . . Amid bedlam from the Left, he 
contrasted the clauses of the nakaz concerning Alsace-Lorraine, Rumania, 
and Serbia, with those treating of the nationalities in Germany and Austria. 
The nakaz embraced the German and Austrian point of view, said Miliukov. 

Passing to Terestchenko's speech, he contemptuously accused him of 
being afraid to speak the thought in his mind, and even afraid to think in 
terms of the greatness of Russia. The Dardanelles must belong to Rus- 
sia. ... 

"You are continually saying that the soldier does not know why he is 
flghting, and that when he does know, he'll fight. . . .It is true that the 
soldier doesn't know why he is fighting, but now you have told him that 
there is no reason for him to fight, that we have no national interests, and 
that we are fighting for alien ends. ..." 

Paying tribute to the Allies, who, he said, with the assistance of America, 
will yet save the cause of humanity," he ended: 

Long live the light of humanity, the advanced democracies of the 
West, who for a long time have been travelling the way we now only begin 
to enter, with ill-assured and hesitating steps ! Long live our brave Allies P' 



The Associated Press man tried his hand. "Mr. Kerensky," he began, 

in England and France people are disappointed with the Revolution ^ 

Yes, I know," interrupted Kerensky, quizzically. "Abroad the Revo- 
lution is no longer fashionable I" 

"What is your explanation of why the KxissVaiv^ \\«n^ %\gy^^ ^^^j&w^ 



'*That is a foolish question to ask." Kerensky was annoyed. '^Russia 
entered the war first of all the Allies, and for a long time she bore tiie 
whole brunt of it. Her losses have been inconceivably greater than those of 
all the other nations put together. Russia has now the right to demand of 
the Allies that they bring greater force of arms to bear." He stopped for 
a moment and stared at Us interlocutor. '*You are asking why the Rus- 
sians have stopped fighting, and the Russians are asking where is the British 
fleet — ^with German battle-ships in the Gulf of RieA?" Again he ceased 
suddenly, and as suddenly burst out. ''The Russian Revolution hasn't failed 
and the revolutionary Armv hasn't failed. It is not the Revolution which 
caused disorganisation in the army — ^that disorganisation was accompli^ed 
years ago, by the old regime. Why aren't the Russians fighting? I ^dll 
tell you. Because the masses of the people are econondcally emausted,— 
and because they are disillusioned with the Allies!" 

The interview of which this is an excerpt was cabled to the United States, 
and in a few days sent back by the American State Department, with a 
demand that it be ''altered." This Kerensky refused to do; but it was done 
by his secretary. Dr. David Soskice — and, thus purged of all offensive refer- 
ences to the Allies, was given to the press of the world. . • • 

: — - 




Workers' Control 

1. (See page 43.) 

9. llie organisation of Workers' Control is a manifestation of the 
same healthy activity in the sphere of industrial production, as are party 
organisations in the sphere of politics, trade unions in employment. Coop- 
eratives in the domain of consumption, and literary clubs in the sphere of 

3. The working-class has much more interest in the proper and uninter- 
rupted operation of factories . . . than the capitalist class. Workers' 
Control is a better security in this respect for the interests of modem so- 
ciety, of the whole people, than the arbitrary will of the owners, who arc 
guided only by their selfish desire for material profits or political privileges. 
Therefore Workers' Control is demanded by the proletariat not only in their 
own interest, but in the interest of the whole country, and should be sup- 
ported by the revolutionary peasantry as well as the revolutionary Army. 

4. Considering the hostile attitude of the majority of the capitalist class 
toward the Revolution, experience shows that proper distribution of raw 
materials and fuel, as well as the most efficient management of factories, is 
impossible without Workers' Control. 

6. Only Workers' Control over capitalist enterprises, cultivating the 
workers' conscious attitude toward work, and making clear its social mean- 
ing, can create conditions favourable to the development of a firm self- 
discipline in labour, and the development of all labour's possible productivity. 

6. The impending transformation of industry from a war to a peace 
basis, and the redistribution of labour all over the country, as well as 
among the different factories, can be accomplished without great dis- 
turbances only by means of the democratic self-government of the workers 
themselves. . . . Therefore the realisation of Workers' Control is an indis- 
pensable preliminary to the demobilisation of industry. 

7. In accordance with the slogan proclaimed by the Russian Social 
Democratic Labour Patty (^BolsYve^iki^, Workers' Control on a national 

scale, ID order to bring resiiita, muaV. cx^cadVo «2\ <iw^^5«!^l concerns, and no^ 


be organised accidentally, without system; it must be well-planned, and not 
separated from the industrial life of the country as a whole. 

8. The economic life of the country — agriculture, industry, commerce 
and transport — ^must be subjected to one unified plan, constructed so as to 
satisfy the individual and social requirements of the wide masses of the 
people; it must be approved by their elected representatives, and carried out 
under the direction of these representatives by means of national and local 

9. That part of the plan which deals with land-labour must be carried 
out under supervision of the peasants' and land-workers' organisations; 
that relating to industry, trade and transport operated by wage-earners, by 
means of Workers' Control; the natural organs of Workers' Control 
inside the industrial plant will be the Factory-Shop and similar Commit- 
tees ; and in the labour market, the Trade Unions. 

10. The collective wage agreements arranged by the Trade Unions for 
the majority of workers in any branch of labour, must be binding on all the 
owners of plants employing this kind of labour in the given district. 

11. Employment bureaus must be placed under the control and manage- 
ment of the Trade Unions, as class organisations acting within the limits of 
the whole industrial plan, and in accordance with it. 

12. Trade Unions must have the right, upon their own initiative, to 
begin legal action against all employers who violate labour contracts or 
labour legislation, and also in behalf of any individual worker in any branch 
of labour. 

13. On all questions relating to Workers' Control over production, distri- 
bution and employment, the Trade Unions must confer with the workers 
of individual establishments through their Factory-Shop Committees. 

14. Matters of employment and discharge, vacations, wage scales, refusal 
of work, degree of productivity and skill, reasons for abrogating agree- 
ments, disputes with the administration, and similar problems of the in- 
ternal life of the factory, must be settled exclusively according to the find- 
ings of the Factory-Shop Committee, which has the right to exclude from 
participation in the discussion any members of the factory administration. 

15. The Factory-Shop Conmiittee forms a commission to control the 
supplying of the factory with raw materials, fuel, orders, labour power 
and technical staff (including equipment), and all other supplies and ar- 
rangements, and also to assure the factory's adherence to the general indus- 
trial plan. The factory administration is obliged to surrender to the organs 
of Workers' Control, for their aid and information, all data concerning the 
business; to make it possible to verify this data, and to produce the books 
of the company upon demand of the Factory-Shop Committee. 

16. Any illegal acts on the part of the administration discovered bjr 
the Factory-Shop Committees, or any suspicion of such illegal acts, which 
cannot be investigated or remedied by the workers alone, shall be referred 
to the district central organisation of Factory-Shop Committees charged 
with the particular branch of labour involved, which shall discuss the matter 
with the institutions charged with the execution of the general industrial 
plan, and find means to deal with the matter, even to the extent of con- 
fiscating the factory. 

17. The union of the Factory-Shop Committees of different concerns 
must be accomplished on the basis of the different trades, in order id facili- 
tate control over the whole branch of industry, so as to come within the 
general industrial plan ; and so as to create an effective plan of distribution 
among the different factories of orders, raw materials, fuel, technical and 
labour power; and also to facilitate cooperation with the Trade Unions, 
which are organised by trades. 

18. The central city councils of Trade Unions and Factory-Sha^ 
Committees represent the proletariat in the coTiespoaiS&ik^ -^xoTfios^sSL «ss.^ 


local institutions fonned to elaborate and carry out the general industrial 
plan, and to organise economic relations between the towns and the villages 
(worlsers and peasants). They also possess final authority for the man- 
agement of Factory-Shop Committees and Trade Unions, so far as Workers' 
Control in their district is concerned, and they shall issue obligatory regu- 
lations concerning workers' discipline in the routine of production — which 
regulations, however, must be approved by vote of the workers tfacsnsdves. 



Busika^a Volia, October 98. ''The decisive moment approaches. . . . 
It is decisive for the Bolsheviki. Either they will give us ... a second 
edition of the events of July 16-18, or they will have to admit that with their 
plans and intentions, with their impertinent policy of wishing to separate 
themselves from everything consciously national, they have been definitdy 
defeated. . . . 

"What are the chances of Bolshevik success? 

"It is difficult to answer that question, for their principal support is 
the • . . ignorance of the popular masses. They speculate on it, they work 
upon it by a demagogy which nothing can stop. . . . 

"The Government must play its part in this affair. Supporting itsdtf 
morally by the Council of the Republic, the Government must take a 
dearly-defined attitude toward tiie Bolsheviki. . . . 

"And if the Bolsheviki provoke an insurrection against the legal power, 
and thus facilitate the German invasion, they must l^ treated as mutineers 
and traitors. . . .** 

Birzhevya Viedomoiti, October 98. ''Now that the Bolsheviki have sep- 
arated themselves from the rest of the democracy, the struggle against 
them is very much simpler — and it is not reasonable, in order to fight against 
Bolshevism, to wait until they make a manifestation. The Govermnent 
• should not even allow the manifestation. . . . 

"The appeals of the Bolsheviki to insurrection and anarchy are acts pun- 
ishable by the criminal courts, and in the freest countries, their auuiors 
would receive severe sentences. For what the Bolsheviki are carrying on 
is not a political struggle against the Government, or even for ihe power; 
it is propaganda for anarchy, massacres, and dvil war. This propaganda 
must be extirpated at its roots; it would be strange to wait, in order to 
begin action against an agitation for pogroms, until the pogroms actually 
occurred. ..." 

Novoye Vremya, November 1. "... Why is the Government cxdted 
only about November 2d (date of calling of the Congress of Soviets), and 
not about September 19th, or October &? 

"This is not the first time that Russia bums and falls in ruins, and 
that the smoke of the terrible confiagratlon makes the eyes of our Allies 
smart. . . • 

"Since it came to power, has there been a single order issued by the 
Government for the purpose of halting anarchy, or has any one attempted 
to put out the Russian conflagration? 

"There were other things to do. . . • 

"The Government tum^ its attention to a more immediate problem. It 
crushed an insurrection (the Komilov attempt) concerning which every one 
is now asking, *Did it ever exist?"* 


Dielo Naroda, October 98 (Sodalist Revolutionary). "The most fii^- 
ful crime of the BolsbevM a^gieixnal V!b!& ^je^QVa^orL is that th^ ina^ale 


exclusively to the bad Intentions of the revolutionary Government all the 
calamities which the masses are so cruelly suffering; when as a matter of 
fact these calamities spring from objective causes. 

'They make golden promises to the masses, knowing in advance that they 
can fulfil none of them; they lead the masses on a false trail, deceiving 
them as to the source of all their troubles. . . . 

"The Bolshevik! are the most dangerous enemies of the Revolution. ..." 

Dien, October 30 (Menshevik). "Is this really *the freedom of the 
press'? Every day Novaya Bus and Babotchi Put openly incite to insur- 
rection. Every day these two papers commit in their columns actual 
crimes. Every day they urge pogroms. ... Is that the freedom of 
the press'? ... 

**The Government ought to defend itself and defend us. We have the 
right to insist that the Government machinery does not remain passive 
while the threat of bloody riots endangers the lives of its citizens. ..." 



Plekhanov's paper, Tedvnstvo, suspended publication a few weeks after 
the Bolsheviki seized the power. Contrary to popular report, YecUnstvo was 
not suppressed by the Soviet Government; an announcement in the last 
tiumber admitted that it was unable to continue because there were too few 
eubscribers. ... 



Hie French newspaper Entente of Petrograd, on November 15th, pub- 
lished an article of which the following is a part: 

'*The Government of Kerensky discusses and hesitates. The Government 
of Lenin and Trotzky attacks and acts. 

"This last is called a Government of Conspirators, but that is wrong. 
Government of usurpers, yes, like all revolutionary Governments whidi 
triumph over their adversaries. Conspirators — no! 

"No! They did not conspire. Chi the contrary, openly, audaciously, 
without mincing words, without dissimulating their Intentions, they multi- 
plied their agitation, intensified their propaganda in the factories, the 
barracks, at tibe Front, in the country, everywhere, even fixing in advance 
the date of their taking up arms, the date of their seizure of the 

• • • • • 


"They — conspirators? Never. • . •" 



From the Central Army Committee 

**. . . Above everything we insist upon the inflexible execution of the 
organised will of the malority of the people, expressed by the Provisional 
Government in accord with the Council of the Republic and the Tsay-ee-kah, 
as organ of the popular power. . . . 

"Any demonstration to depose this power by violence, at a moment when 
a Government crisis will infallibly create disorganisation, the ruin of 
the country, and civil war, will be considered by the Army as a counter- 
revolutionary act, and repressed by force of arms. . . . 

"The interests of private groups and classes should be submitted to a 
single interest — ^that of augmenting industrial production, and distcvh>a5(ia!c^ 
(he necessities of life with fairness. . . . 



'All who are capable of sabotage, disorganisatioii, or disorder, all de- 
serters, all slackers, all looters, should be forced to do auxiliary service in 
the rear of the Army. . . . 

**We invite the Provisional Government to form, out of these violators 
of the people's will, these enemies of the Revolution, labour detachments 
to work in the rear, on the Front, in the trenches under enemy fire. • • ." 



Toward evening bands of Red Guards began to occupy the printing- 
shops of the bourgeois press, where thev print^ Babotchi Put, Soldat, and 
various proclamations by the hundrea thousand. The City Militia was 
ordered to clear these places, but found the offices barricaded, and armed 
men defending them. Soldiers who were ordered to attack the print-shops 

About midnight a Colonel with a company of yunker» arrived at the 
club "Free Mind," with a warrant to arrest the editor of BcU>otchi Put. 
Immediately an enormous mob gathered in the street outside and threatened 
to lynch the yunkers. The Colonel thereupon begged that he and the yunkert 
be arrested and taken to Peter-Paul prison for safety. This request was 

At 1 A. M. a detachment of soldiers and sailors from Smolny occu- 
pied the Telegraph Agency. At 135 the Post Office was occupied. Toward 
morning the Military Hotel was taken, and at 5 o'clock the Telephone Ex- 
change. At dawn the State Bank was surrounded. And at 10 A. M. a 
cordon of troops was drawn about the Winter Palace. 




From 4 A. M. until dawn Kerensky remained at the Petrograd Staff 
Headquarters, sending orders to the Cossacks and to the yunkers in the 
Officers' Schools in and around Petrograd — all of whom answered that they 
were unable to move. 

Colonel Polkovnikov, Commandant of the City, hurried fcletween the 
Staff and the Winter Palace, evidently without any plan. Kerensky gave 
an order to open the bridges; three hours passed without any action, and 
then an officer and five men went out on their own initiative, and putting 
to flight a picket of Red Guards, opened the Nicolai Bridge. Immediately 
after they left, however, some sailors closed it again. 

Kerensky ordered the print-shop of Babotchi Put to be occupied. The 
officer detailed to the work was promised a squad of soldiers; two hours 
later he was promised some yunkers; then the order was forgotten. 

An attempt was made to recapture the Post Office and the Telegraph 
Agency; a few shots were fired, and the Government troops announced 
that they would no longer oppose the Soviets. 

To a delegation of yunkers Kerensky said, "As chief of the Provisional 
Grovernment and as Supreme Commander I know nothing, I cannot advise 
you; but as a veteran revolutionist^ I appeal to you, young revolutionists, to 
remain at your posts and defend the conquests of the Revolution." 

Orders of Kishkin, November 7th: 

"By decree of the Provisional Government ... I am invested with 
extraordinary powers for the reestablislunent of grder in Petvograd, in 
complete command of all civil and military authorities. ..." 


"In accordance with the powers, conferred upon me by the Provisional 
Government, I herewith relieve from his functions as Commandant of 
the Petrograd Military District Colonel George Polkovnikov. • . ." 

« « « » 

Appeal to the Population signed by Vice-Premier Konovalov, Novem- 
ber 7th; 

"Citizens I Save the fatherland, the republic and your freedom. Mani- 
acs have raised a revolt against the only governmental power chosen by the 
people, the Provisional Government. . . . 

"The members of the Provisional Government fulfil their duty, remain 
at their post, and continue to work for the good of the fatherland, the 
reestablishment of order, and the convocation of the Constituent Assembly, 
future sovereign of Russia and of all the Russian peoples. . . . 

**Citizens, you must support the Provisional Government. You must 
strengthen its authority. You must oppose these maniacs, with whom are 
joined all enemies of liberty and order, and the followers of the Tsarist 
regime, in order to wreclc the Constituent Assembly, destroy tne conquests 
of the Revolution, and the future of our dear fatherland. . . . 

"Citizens I Organise around the Provisional Government for the de- 
fence of its temporary authority, in the name of order and the happiness 

of all peoples. ..." 

• • • • 

Proclamation of the Provisional Oovermnent, 

"The Petrograd Soviet . . . has declared the Provisional Government 
overthrown, and has demanded that the Governmental power be turned 
over to it, under threat of bombarding the Winter Palace with the cannon 
of Peter-Paul Fortress, and of the cruiser Avrora, anchored in the Neva. 

"The Government c^n surrender its authority only to the Constituent 
Assembly; for that reason it has decided not to submit, and to demand aid 
from the population and the Army. A telegram has been sent to the Sta/oka; 
and an answer received says that a strong detachment of troops is being 
sent. . . . 

"Let the Army and the People reject the irresponsible attempts of the 
Bolsheviki to create a revolt in the rear. . . ." 

About 9 A. M. Kerensl^ left for the Front. . . . 

Toward evening two soldiers on bicycles presented themselves at the Staff 
Headquarters, as delegates of the garrison of Peter-Paul Fortress. Enter- 
ing the meeting-room of the Staff, where Kishkin, Rutenburg, Paltchinski, 
General Bagratouni, Colonel Paradielov and Count Tolstoy were gathered, 
they demanded the immediate surrender of the Staff; threatening, in case 
of refusal, to bombard headquarters. . . . After two panicky conferences 
the Staff retreated to the Winter Palace, and the headquarters were occu- 
pied by Red Guards. . . . 

Late in the afternoon several Bolshevik armoured cars cruised around 
the Palace Square, and Soviet soldiers tried unsuccessfully to parley with 
the yunkers. . . . 

Firing on the Palace began about 7 o'clock in the evening. . . . 

At 10 P. M. began an artillery bombardment from three sides, in which 
most of the shells Were blanks, only three small shrapnels striking the 
facade of the Palace. . . . 


1 ♦• 

Leaving Petrograd in the morning of November 7th, Kerensky arrived 
by automobile at Gatchina, where he demanded a special train. Toward 
^ening he was in Ostrov, Province of Pskov. The ncxX. TswstT&xi^, ci^x^ssv 


dinary session of the local Soviet of Workers' and Soldiers' Deputies, with 
participation of Cossack delegates — ^there being 6,000 Cossacks at Ostrov. 

Kerensky spoke to the assembly, appealing for aid against the Bolshe- 
viki, and addressed himself almost exclusively to the Cossacks. TTie soldier 
delegates protested. 

"Why did you come here?" shouted voices. Kerensky answered, **To 
ask the Cossacks' assistance in crushing the Bolshevik insurrection P At 
this there were violent protestations, which increased when he continued, 
**I broke the Kornilov attempt, and I will break the Bolshevik! T The 
noise became so great that he had to leave the platform. . . . 

The soldier deputies and the Ussuri Cossacks decided to arrest Kerensky, 
but the Don Cossacks prevented them, and got him away by train. . . . 
A Military Revolutionary Committee, set up during the day, tried to in- 
form the garrison of Pskov; but the telephone and telegraph lines were 
cut. . . . 

Kerensky did noi arrive at Pskov. Revolutionary soldiers had cut the 
railway line^ to prevent troops being sent against the capital. On the night 
of November 8th he arrived by automobile at Luga, where he was well re- 
ceived by the Death Battalions stationed there. 

Next day he took train for the South-West Front, and visited the Army 
Committee at headquarters. The Fifth Army, however, was wild wiA 
enthusiasm over the news of the Bolshevik success, and the Army Committee 
was unable to promise Kerensky any support. 

From there he went to the Stavka, at Moghilev, where he ordered ten 
regiments from different parts of the Front to move against Petrograd. The 
soldiers almost unanimously refused; and those regiments which did start 
halted on the way. About live thousand COssacks mially followed him. • . . 



I do not mean to maintain that there was no looting in the Winter 
Palace. Both after and before the Winter Palace fell, there was consider- 
able pilfering. The statement of the Socialist Revolutionary paper Narod, 
and of members of the City Duma, to the effect that precious objects to 
the value of 500,000,000 rubles had been stolen, was, however, a gross, 

'Hie most important art treasures of the Palace — paintings, statues, 
tapestries, rare porcelains and armories, — had been transferred to Moscow 
during the month of September; and they were still in good order in the 
bksement of the Imperial Palace there ten days after the capture of the 
Kremlin by Bolshevik troops. I can personally testify to this. . . . 

Individuals, however, especially the general public, which was allowed 
to circulate freely through the Winter Palace for several days after its 
capture, made away with table silver, clocks, bedding, mirrors and some 
odd vases of valuable porcelain and semi-precious stone, to the value of 
about $50,000. 

The Soviet Government immediately created a special commission, com- 
posed of artists and archaeologists, to recover the stolen objects. On No- 
vember Xst two proclamations were issued: 

''CmzEKS OF Petrograd! 

'•We urgently ask all citizens to exert every effort to find whatever 
possible of the objects stolen from the Winter Palace in the night of 
November 7-8, and to forward them to the Commandant of the Winter 

"Receivers of stolen goods, auWcvixaTVwv^^ and all who are proved to be 


hiding such objects will be held legally responsible and punished with all 

"Commissars for the Protection of Museums 
and Artistic Collections, 

"G. Yatmanov, B. Makdelbaum/' 
• • • 

'To Regimektal akd Fleet Committees 

"In the night of November 7-8, in the Winter Palace, which is the in- 
alienable property of the Russian people, valuable objects of art were 

"We urgently appeal to all to exert every eflFort, so that the stolen 
objects are returned to the Winter Palace. 

**Comanis8ars ... 


About half the loot was recovered, some of it in the baggage of for- 
eigners leaving Russia. 

A conference of artists and archaeologists, held at the suggestion of 
Smolny, appointed a commission to make an inventory of the Winter 
Palace treasures, which was given complete charge of tiie Palace and of aU 
artistic collections and State museums in Petrograd. On November 16th 
the Winter Palace was closed to the public while the inventory was being 
made. . . . 

During the last week in November a decree was issued by the Council of 
People's Commissars, changing the name of the Winter Palace to "People's 
Museum," entrusting it to the complete charge of the artistic-archaeolog- 
ical commission, and declaring that henceforth all Governmental activities 
within its walls were prohibited. • • . 



Immediately following the taking of the Winter Palace all sorts of 
sensational stories were published in the anti-Bolshevik press, and told 
in the City Duma, about the fate of the Women's Battalion defending the 
Palace. It was said that some of the girl-soldiers had been thrown from 
the windows into the street, most of the rest had been violated, and many 
had committed suicide as a result of the horrors they had gone through. 

The City Dmna appointed a commission to investigate the matter. On 
November 16th the commission returned from Levashovo, headquarters 
of the Women's Battalion. Madame Tyrkova reported that the girls had 
been at first taken to the barracks of the Pavlovsky Regiment, and that 
there some of them had been badly treated; but that at present most of 
them were at Levashovo, and the rest scattered about the city in private 
houses. Dr. Mandelbaum, another of the commission; testified drily that 
none of the women had been thrown out of the windows of the Winter 
Palace, that none were wounded, that three had been violated, and that one 
had committed suicide, leaving a note which said that she had been "disap- 
pointed in her ideals." 

On November 21st the Military Revolutionary Committee officially dis- 
solved the Women's Battalion, at the request of the girls themselves, who 
returned to civilian clothes. 

In Louise Bryant's book, "Six Red Months in Russia,** there is an inter- 
esting description of the girl-soldiers during this time. 





Prom ih9 MiUtary Revolutionary Committee, November 8: 

"To All Army Committees and All Soviets of Soldiers' Deputies. 

"The Petrograd garrison has overturned the Government of Kerensky, 
which had risen against the Revolution and the People. ... In sending 
this news to tiie Front and the country, the Military Revolutionary Com- 
mittee requests all soldiers to keep visilant watch on the conduct of offi- 
cers. Officers who do not frankly and openly declare for the Revolution 
should be immediately arrested as enemies. 

"The Petrograd Soviet interprets the programme of the new Government 
as: immediate proposals of a general democratic peace, the immediate 
transfer of great landed estates to the peasants, and tiie honest convo- 
cation of the ^Constituent Assembly. The people's revolutionary Army 
must not permit troops of doubtful morale to be sent to Petrograd. Act 
by means of arguments, by means of moral suasion— but if that fails, halt 
the movement of troops by implacable force. 

"The present order must be immediately read to all military units of 
every branch of the service. Whoever keeps the knowledge of this order 
from the soldier-masses . . . commits a serious crime against the Revolu- 
tion, and will be punished with all the rigour of revolutionary law. 

"Soldiers! For peace, bread, land, and popular government I" 

« • « • 

"To All Front and Rear Army, Corps, Divisional, Regimental and Company 
Committees, and All Soviets of Workers', Soldiers' and Peasants' 

"Soldiers and Revolutionary Officers! 

"The Military Revolutionary Committee, by agreement with the majority 
of the workers, soldiers, and peasants, has decreed that General Kornilov 
and ail the accomplices of his conspiracy shall be brought immediately to 
Petrograd, for incarceration in Peter-Paul Fortress and arraignment before 
a military revolutionary court-martial. . . . 

"All who resist the execution of this decree are declared by the Com- 
mittee to be traitors to the Revolution, and their orders are herewith 
declared null and void." 

The Military Revolutionary Committee Attached to the Petrograd 
Soviet of Workers' and Soldiers' Deputies, 

* * * * 

"To all Provincial and District Soviets of Workers', Soldiers' and Peas- 
ants' Deputies. 

"By resolution of the All-Russian Congress of Soviets, all arrested 
members of Land Committees are immediately set free. The Commissars 
who arrested them are to be arrested. 

"From this moment all power belongs to the Soviets. The Commissars 
of the Provisional Government are removed. The presidents of the various 
local Soviets are invited to enter into direct relations with the revolutionary 

Military Revolutionaary Committee, 




**The Central City Duma, elected on the most democratic principles, has 
undertaken the burden of managing Municipal affairs and food supplies at 
the time of the greatest disorganisation. At the present moment liie Bol- 
shevik party, three weeks before the elections to the Constituent Assembly, 
and in spite of the riienace of the external enemy, having removed by armed 
force the only legal revolutionary authority, is making an attempt against 
the rights and independence of the Municipal Self-Government, demand- 
ing submission to its Commissars and its illegal authority. 

"In this terrible and tragic moment the Petrograd City Duma, in the 
face of its constituents, and of all Russia, declares loudly that it will not 
submit to any encroachments on its rights and its Independence, and will 
remain at the post of responsibility to which it has been called by the will 
of the population of the capital. 

**The Central City Duma of Petrograd appeals to all Dumas and 
Zemstvos of the Russian Republic to rally to the defence of one of the 
greatest conquests of the Russian Revolution — the independence and in- 
violability of popular self-government." 



The Land question can only be permanently settled by the general 
Constituent Assembly. 

The most equitable solution of the Land question should be as fol- 

1. The right of private ownership of land is abolished forever; land 
cannot be sold, nor leased, nor mortgaged, nor alienated in any way. All 
dominical lands, lands attached to titles, lands belonging to the Emperor's 
cabinet, to monasteries, churches, possession lands, entailed lands, private 
estates, communal lands, peasant free-holds, and others, are confiscated 
without compensation, and become national property, and are placed at the 
disposition of the workers who cultivate them. 

Those who are damaged because of this social transformation of the 
rights of property are entitled to public aid during the time necessary for 
them to adapt themselves to the pew conditions of existence. 

9. All the riches beneath the earth — ores, oil, coal, salt, etc. — as well 
as forests and waters having a national importance, become the exclusive 
property of the State. All minor streams, lakes and forests are placed in 
the hands of the communities, on condition of being managed by the local 
organs of government. 

3. All plots of land scientifically cultivated — ^gardens, plantations, 
nurseries, seed-plots, green-houses, and others — shall not be divided, but 
transformed into model farms, and pass into the hands of the State or of the 
community, according to their size and importance. 

Buildings, communal lands and villages with their private gardens and 
their orchards remain in the hands of their present owners; the dimensions 
of these plots and the rate of taxes for their use shall be fixed by law. 

4. All studs, governmental and private cattle-breeding and bird-breed- 
ing establishments, and others, are confiscated and become national property, 
and are transferred either to the State or to the community, according to 
their size and importance. 

All questions of compensation for the above are within the competence 
of the Constituent Assembly. 
5. All inventoried agricultural property of the cotv^^^\«.^ Vksn^l^^ \ss».- 


chineiy and live-stock, are transferred without compensation to the State 
or the community, according to their quantity and importance. 

The confiscation of such machinery or live-stock shall not apply to the 
small properties of peasants. 

6. The right to use the land is granted to all citizens, without distinc- 
tion of sex, who wish to work the land themselves, with the help of their 
families, or in partnership, and only so long as they are able to work. 
No hired labour is permitted. 

In the event of the incapacity for work of a member of the commune 
for a period of two years, the commune shall be bound to render him 
assistance during this time by working his land in common. 

Farmers who through old age or sickness have permanently lost the 
capacity to work the land themselves, shall surrender their land and receive 
instead a Government pension. 

7. The use of the land should be equalised — ^that is to say, the land 
shall be divided among the workers according to local conditions, the unit 
of labour and the needs of the individual. 

The way in which land is to be used may be individually determined 
upon: as homesteads, as farms, by communes, by partnerships, as will be 
decided by the villages and settlements. 

8. All land upon its confiscation is pooled in the general People^s Land 
Fund. Its distribution among the workers is carried out by the local and 
central organs of administration, beginning with the village democratic 
organisations and ending with the central provincial institutions — ^with the 
exception of urban and rural cooperative societies. 

The Land Fund is subject to periodical redistribution according to the 
increase of population and the development of productivity and rural 

In case of modification of the boundaries of allotments, the original 
centre of the allotment remains intact. 

The lands of persons retiring from the community return to the Land 
Fund; providing that near relatives of the persons retiring, or friends 
designated by them, shall have preference in the redistribution of these 

When lands are returned to the Land Fund, the money expended for 
manuring or improving the land, which has not been exhausted, shall be 

If in some localities the Land Fund is insufficient to satisfy the local 
population, the surplus population should emigrate. 

The organisation of the emigration, also the costs thereof, and the pro- 
viding of emigrants with the necessary machinery and live-stock, shall be 
the business of the State. 

The emigration shall be carried out in the following order: first, the 
peasants without land who express their wish to emigrate; then the unde- 
sirable members of the community, deserters, etc., and finally, by drawing 
lots on agreement. 

All which is contained in this nakaz, being the expression of the indis- 
putable will of the great majority of conscious peasants of Russia, is de- 
clared to be a temporary law, and until the convocation of the Constituent 
Assembly, becomes effective immediately so far as is possible, and in some 
parts of it gradually, as will be determined by the District Soviets of 
Peasants' Deputies. 



The Government was not forced to make any decision concerning the 
rights of deserters to tYie land. T\i^ ei\d oi the war and the demobilisation 
of the army automaticaUy xcmoNcd >iiv^ dt^ct\.« ^xOsJ«ss^» . . , 





ITie Council of People's Commissars was at first composed entirely of 
Bolsheviki. This was not entirely the fault of the Bolsheviki, however. 
On November 8th they offered portfolios to members of the Left Socialist 
Revolutionaries, who declined. See page 273. 




Appeal to all Citizens and to the Military Organisations of the So- 
cialist Revolutionary Party. 

'*The senseless attempt of the Bolsheviki is on the eve of complete fail- 
ure. The garrison is disaffected. . . . The Ministries are idle, bread is 
lacldng. AU factions except a handful of Bolsheviki have left ttie Con- 
gress of Soviets. The Bolsheviki are alone! Abuses of all sorts, acts of 
vandalism and pillage, the bombardment of the Winter Palace, arbitrary 
arrests — all these crimes committed by the Bolsheviki have aroused against 
them the resentment of the majority of the sailors and soldiers. The 
Tsentroflot refuses to submit to the orders of the Bolsheviki. . . . 

''We call upon all sane elements to gather around the Conunittee for 
Salvation of Country and Revolution; to take serious measures to be ready, 
at the first call of the Central Committee of the Party, to act against the 
counter-revolutionists, who will doubtless attempt to profit by these troubles 
provoked by the Bolshevik adventure, and to watch closely the external 
enemy, who also would like to take advantage of this opportune moment 
when the Front is weakened. . . ." 

The Military Section of the Central Committee of 
the 8oc%aJi!i*t Revolutionary Party, 

• • • • 

From Pra/oda: 

"What is Kerensky? 

"A usurper, whose place is in Peter-Paul prison, with Komilov and 

*'A criminal and a traitor to the workers, soldiers and peasants, who 
believed in him. 

"Kerensky? A murderer of soldiers! 
'Kerensl^? A public executioner of peasants! 

*Kerensky? A strangler of workers! 

"Such is the second Komilov who now wants to butcher liberty T* 




On the Presi 

In the serious decisive hour of the Revolution and the days immediately 
foUowing it, the Provisional Revolutionary Committee is compelled to 
adopt a series of measures against the counter-revolutlonax:^ Y^«^ ^"^ ^S^ 


Immediately on all sides there are cries that the new Socialist authority 
is in tills violating the essential principles of its own programme by an 
attempt against the freedom of the press. 

I'he Workers' and Peasants* Government calls the attention of the 
population to the fact that in our country, behind this liberal shield, is 
hidden the opportunity for the wealthier classes to seize the lion's share of 
the whole press, and by this means to poison the popular mind and bring 
confusion into the consciousness of the masses. 

Every one knows that the bourgeois press is one of the most powerful 
weapons of the bourgeoisie. Especially in this critical moment, when the 
new authority of the workers and peasants is in process of consolidation, 
it is impossible to leave it in the hands of the enemy, at a time when it is 
not less dangerous than bombs and machine-guns. This is why temporary 
and extraordinary measures have been adopted for the purpose of ' stop- 
ping the flow of filth and calumny in which the yellow and green press 
would be glad to drown the young victory of the people. 

As soon as the new order is consoliaated, all administrative measures 
against the press will be suspended; full liberty will be given it within 
the limits of responsibility before the law, in accordance wiQi the broadest 
and most progressive regulations. . . . 

Bearing in mind, however, the fact that any restrictions of the freedom 
of the press, even in critical moments, are admissible only within the bounds 
of necessity, the Council of People^s Commissars decrees as follows: 

1. The following classes of newspapers shall be subject to dosure: 
(a) Those inciting to open resistance or disobedience to the Workers' and 
Peasants' Government; (b) Those creating confusion by obviously and 
deliberately perverting the news; (c) Those inciting to acts of a criminal 
character punishable by the laws. 

9. The temporary or permanent closing of any organ ot the press shall 
be carried out only by idrtue of a resolution of the Council of People's 

3. The present decree is ot a temporary nature, and will be revoked by 
a special ukaz when normal conditions of public life are re-established. 

President of th^ Council of PeopWs Commissars, 

VLADiMm ITliaxov (Lekik). 

On Workers' Militia 

1. All Soviets of Workers' and Soldiers' Deputies shall form a Workers' 

2. This Workers' Militia shfidl be entirely at the orders of the Soviets 
of Workers' and Soldiers' Deputies. 

3. Military and civil authorities must render every assistance in arm- 
ing the workers and in supplying them with technical equipment, even to 
the extent of requisitioning arms belonging to the War Department of 
the Government. 

4. This decree shall be promulgated by telegraphi 
Petrograd, November 10, 1917. 

People's Commissar of the Interior, 

A. I. Rykov. 

This decree encouraged the formation of companies of Red Guards aU 
over Russia, which became the most valuable arm of the Soviet Government 
in the ensuing civil war. 




The fund for the striking Government employees and bank clerks was 
subscribed by banks and business houses of Petrograd and other cities, 
and also by foreign corporations doing business in Russia. All who con- 
sented to strike against the Bolsheviki were paid full wages, and in some 
cases their pay was increased. It was the realisation of the strike fund 
contributors that the Bolsheviki were firmly in power, followed by their 
refusal to pay strike benefits, which finally broke the strike. 



kereksky's advakce 

On November 9th Kerensky and his Cossacks arrived at Gatchina, where 
the garrison, hopelessly split into two factions, immediately surrendered. 
The members of the Gatchina Soviet were arrested, and at first threatened 
with death; later they were released on good behaviour. 

The Cossack advance-guards, practically imopposed, occupied Pavlovsk, 
Alexandrovsk and other stations, and reached the outskirts of Tsarskoye 
Selo next morning — November 10th. At once the garrison divided into three 
groups — ^the officers, loyal to Kerensky; part of the soldiers and non-com- 
missioned officers, who declared themselves "neutral"; and most of the rank 
and file, who were for the Bolsheviki. The Bolshevik soldiers, who were 
without leaders or organisation, fell back toward the capital. The local 
Soviet also withdrew to the village of Pulkovo. 

From Pulkovo six members of the Tsarskoye Selo Soviet went with an 
automobile-load of proclamations to Gatchina, to propagandise the Cos^ 
sacks. They spent most of the day going around Gatchina from one Cos- 
sack barracks to another, pleading, arguing and explaining. Toward eve- 
ning some officers discovered their presence and they were arrested and 
brought before General Krasnov, who said, "You fought against Kornilov; 
now you are opposing Kerensky. 1*11 have you all shot!" 

After reading aloud to them the order appointing him commander-in- 
chief of the Petrograd District, Krasnov asked if they were Bolsheviki. 
They replied in the affirmative — upon which Krasnov went away; a short 
time later an officer came and set them free, saying that it was by order 
of General Krasnov. ... 

In the meanwhile delegations continued to arrive from Petrograd; from 
the Duma, the Committee for Salvation, and, last of all, from the Vikzhel. 
The Union of Railway Workers insisted that some agreement be reached 
to halt the civil war, and demanded that Kerensky treat with the Bolshe- 
viki, and that he stop the advance on Petrograd. In case of refusal, the 
Vikzhel threatened a general strike at midnight of November 11th. 

Kerensky asked to be allowed to discuss the matter with the Socialist 
Ministers and with the Committee for Salvation. He was plainly undecided. 

On the 11th Cossack outposts reached Krasnoye Selo, from which the 
local Soviet and the heterogeneous forces of the Military Revolutionary 
Committee precipitately retired, some of them surrendering. . . . That 
night they also touched Pulkovo, where the first real resistance was 
encountered. ... 

Cossacks deserters began to dribble into Petrograd, declaring that Ke- 
rensky had lied to them, that he had spread broadcast over tba fx^\s^. ^^<ai«i.- 
Jamations which said that Petrograd was Wxidxi^ \5a»X. ^Oofc ^^Ji^s!>K^*ia. 


bad invited the Germans to come in, and that they were murdering women 
and children and looting indiscriminately. . . . 

The Military Revolutionary Committee immediately stnt out some dozens 
of **agitators," with thousands of printed appeals, to inform the Cossacks 
of the real situation. ... 



•To All Soviets of Workers', Soldiers' and Peasants' Deputies. 

The All-Russian Congress of Soviets of Workers', Soldiers' and Peas- 
ants' Deputies charges the local Soviets immediately to take the most 
energetic measures to oppose all counter-revolutionary anti-Semitic dis- 
turbances, and all nogroma of whatever nature. The honour of tiie workers', 
peasants' and solaiers' Revolution cannot tolerate any disorders. . . . 

**The Red Guard of Petrograd, the revolutionary garrison and the sailors 
have maintained complete order in the capital. 

'•Workers, soldiers, and peasants, everywhere you should follow the 
example of the workers and soldiers of Petrograd. 

••Comrades soldiers and Cossacks, on us falls the duty of keeping real 
revolutionary order. 

••All revolutionary Russia and the whole world have their eyes on 

you. ..." 

• • • • 

•The All-Russian Congress of Soviets decrees: 

••To abolish capital punishment at the Front, which was reintroduced by 

•'Complete freedom of propaganda is to be re-established in the country. 
All soldiers and revolutionary officers now under arrest for so-called polit- 
ical 'crimes' are at once to be set free." 

• « • • 

••The ex-Premier Kerensky, overthrown by the people, refuses to sub- 
mit to the Congress of Soviets and attempts to struggle against the legal 
Government elected by the All-Russian Congress — ^the Council of People's 
Commissars. The Front has refused to aid Kerensky. Moscow has rallied 
to the new Government. In many cities (Minsk, Moghilev, Kharkov) the 
power is in the hands of the Soviets. No infantry detachment consents 
to march against the Workers' and Peasants' Government, which, in accord 
with the firm will of the Army and the people, has begun peace negotia- 
tions and has given the land to the peasants. . . . 

••We give public warning that if the Cossacks do not halt Kerensky, 
who has deceived them and is leading -them against Petrograd, the revo- 
lutionary forces will rise with all their might for the defence of the pre- 
cious conquests of the Revolution — Peace and Land. 

••Citizens of Petrograd I Kerensky fled from the city, abandoning the 
authority to Kishkin, who wanted to surrender the capital to the Germans; 
Rutenburg, of the Black Band, who sabotaged the Municipal Food Supply; 
and Paltchinsky, hated by the whole democracy. Kerensky has fled, aban- 
doning you to the Germans, to famine, to bloody massacres. The revolting 
people have arrested Kerensky!s Ministers, and you have seen how the order 
and supplying of Petrograd at once improved. ' Kerensky, at the demand 
of the aristocrat proprietors, the capitalists, speculators, marches against 
you for the purpose of giving back the land to the land-owners, and con- 
tinuing the hated and ruinous war. 

•'Citizens of Petrograd! We know that the great majority of you are 
in favour of the people's revolutionary authority, against the Kornilovtsi 
led by Kerensky. Do not Y)e dced^^d Vs^ IVve lyinff declarations of the 
' "Dotent bourgeois conspiiaYoia, 'wVio ^w^\» '^m^'&^i ^sro^oftd. 


"Workers, soldiers, peasants! We call upon you for revolutionary de- 
votion and discipline. 

''Millions of peasants and soldiers are with us. 
"The victory of the people's Revolution is assured!" 



In this book I am giving only such decrees as are in my opinion perti- 
nent to the Bolshevik conquest of power. The rest belong to a detailed 
account of the Structure of the Soviet State, for which I have no place 
in this work. This will be dealt with very fully in the second volume, 
now in preparation, "Kornilov to Brest-Litovsk." 

Concerning Dwelling-Places 

1. The independent Municipal Self-Governments have the right to 
sequestrate all unoccupied or uninhabited dwelling-places. 

2. The Municipalities may, according to laws and arrangements estab- 
lished by them, install in all available lodgings citizens who have no place 
to live, or who live in congested or unhealthy lodgings. 

3. The Municipalities may establish a service of inspection of dwelling- 
places, organise it and define its powers. 

4. The Municipalities may issue orders on the institution of House 
Committees, define their organisation, their powers and give them juridicid 

5. The Municipalities may create Housing Tribunals, define their powers 
and their authority. 

6. This decree is promulgated by telegraph. 

People's Commissar of the Interior, 

A. I. Rykov. 

On Social Insurcmce 

The Russian proletariat has inscribed on its banners the promise of 
complete Social Insurance of wage-workers, as well as of the town and 
village poor. The Government of the Tsar, the proprietors and the capi- 
talists, as well as the Government of coalition and conciliation, failed to 
realise the desires of the workers with regard to Social Insurance. 

The Workers* and Peasants' Government, relying upon the support of 
the Soviets of Workers', Soldiers' and Peasants' Deputies, announces to 
the working-class of Russia and to the town and village poor, that it will 
immediately prepare laws on Social Insurance based on the formulas pro- 
posed by the Labour organisations: 

1. Insurance for all wage-workers without exception, as well as for all 
urban and rural poor. 

2. Insurance to cover all categories of loss of working capacity, such 
as illness, infirmities, old age, childbirth, widowhood, orphanage, and un- 

3. All the costs of insurance to be charged to employers. 

4. Compensation of at least full wages in all loss of working capacity 
and unemployment. 

5. Complete workers' self-government of all Insurance ins1;itutions. 
In the name of the Government of the Russian Republic, 

The People's Commissar of Labour, 



On Popular Edue<Ui<m 

Citizens of Russia I 

With the insurrection of November 7th the working masses have woo 
for the first time the real power. 

The All-Russian Congress of Soviets has temporarily transferred this 
power both to its Executive Conmiittee and to the Comicil of People's 

By the will of the revolutionaiy people^ I have been appointed People's 
Commissar of Education. 

The work of guiding in general the people's educaticm, inasmuch as it 
remains with the central government, is, until the Constituent Assembly 
meets, entrusted to a Commission on the People's Education, whose chair- 
man and executive is the People's Commissar. 

Upon what fundamental propositions will rest this State Commission? 
How is its sphere of competence determined? 

The General Line of Educational Activity: Every genuinely democratic 
power must, in the domain of education, in a country where illiteracy and 
ignorance reign supreme, make its first aim the struggle against this dark- 
ness. It must acquire in the shortest time universal literacy, by organis- 
ing a network of schools answering to the demands of modem pedagogics; 
it must Introduce universal, obligatory and free tuition for all, and estab- 
lish at the same time a series of such teachers' institutes and seminaries 
as will in the shortest time furnish a powerful army of people's teadiers 
so necessary for the universal instruction of the populaticm of our bound- 
less Russia. 

Decentrcdisaiion: The State Commission on People's Education is by 
no means a central power governing the institutions of instruction and 
education. On the contrary, the entire school work ought to be transferred 
to the organs of local self-government. The independent work of the 
workers, soldiers and peasants, establishing on their own initiative culturid 
educational organisations, must be given full autonomy, both by the State 
centre and the Municipal centres. 

The work of the State Commission serves as a link and helpmate to 
organise resources of material and moral support to the Municipal and 
private institutions, particularly to those with a class-character established 
by the workers. 

The State Committee on People** Education: A whole series of in- 
valuable law projects was elaborated from the beginning of the Revolu- 
tion by the State Committee for People's Education, a tolerably demo- 
cratic body as to its composition, and rich in experts. The State Com- 
mission sincerely desires the collaboration of this Committee. 

It has addressed Itself to tlie bureau of the Committee, wit^ the request 
at once to convoke an extraordinary session of the Committee for the ful- 
filment of the following programme: 

1. The revision of rules of representation in the Committee, in the 
sense of greater democratisation. 

2. The revision of the Committee's rights in the sense of widening 
them, and of converting the Committee into a fundamental State institute 
for the elaboration of law projects calculated to reorganise pubUc in- 
struction and education in Russia upon democratic principles. 

3. The revision, jointly with the new State Commission, of the laws 
already created by the Committee, a revision required by the fact that in 
editing them the Committee had to take into account the bourgeois spirit 
of previous Ministries, which obstructed it even in this its narrowed 

After this revision these \&w& ^lU he put into effect without any bureau- 
cratic red tape, in the TevoluYionaTf ox^tx. 


The Pedagoguet and the Societiste: The State Commission welcomes 
the pedagogues to the bri^t and honourable work of educating the people 
— the masters of the country. 

No one measure in the domain of the people's education ought to be 
adopted by any power without the attentive deliberation of those who 
represent the pedagogues. 

On the other hand, a decision cannot by any means be reached exclu- 
siyely through the cooperation of specialists. This refers as well to re- 
forms of the institutes of general education. 

The cooperation of the pedagogues with the social forces — ^this is how 
the Commission will work both in its own constitution, in the State Com- 
mittee, and in all its activities. 

As its first task the Commission considers the improvement of the 
teachers' status, and first of all of those very poor though almost most 
Important contributors to the work of culture — the elementary school 
teachers. Their just demands ought to be satisfied at once and at any cost. 
The proletariat of the schools has in vain demanded an increase of salary 
to one hundred rubles per month. It would be a disgrace any longer to 
keep in poverty the teachers of the overwhelming majority of the Russian 

But a real democracy cannot stop at mere literacy, at universal ele^ 
mentary instruction. It must endeavour to organise a uniform secular 
school of severed grades. The ideal is, equal and if possible higher edu- 
cation for all the citizens. So long as this idea has not been realised for 
all, the natural transition through all the schooling grades up to the uni- 
versity — ^a transition to a higher stage — ^must depend entirely upon the 
pupil's aptitude, and not upon the resources of his family. 

The problem of a genuinely democratic organisation of instruction is 
particularly difficult in a country impoverished by a long, criminid, imperi- 
alistic war; but the workers who have taken the power must remember 
that education will serve them as the greatest instrument in their struggle 
for a better lot and for a spiritual growth. However needful it may he 
to curtail other articles of the people's budget, the expenses on education 
must stand high. A large educational budget is the pride and glory of 
a nation. The free and enfranchised peoples of Russia will not forget 

The fight against illiteracy and ignorance cannot be confined to a thor- 
ough establishment of school education for children and youths. Adults, 
too, will be anxious to save themselves from the debasing position of a 
man who cannot read and write. The school for adults must occupy a 
conspicuous place in the general plan of popular instruction. 

Instruction and Education: One must emphasise the difi'erence between 
instruction and education. 

Instruction is the transmission of ready knowledge by the teacher to 
his pupil. Education is a creative process. The personality of the indi- 
vidual is being ^'educated" throughout life, is being formed, grows richer 
in content, stronger and more perfect. 

The toilinff masses of the people — ^the workmen, the peasants, the sol- 
ders — are thirsting for elementary and advanced instruction. But they 
are also thirsting for education. Neither the government nor the intel- 
lectuals nor any other power outside of themselves can give it to them. 
The school, the book, the theatre, the museum, etc., may here be only aids. 
They have their own ideas, formed by their social position, so different 
from the position of those ruling classes and intellectuals who have hith- 
erto created culture. They have their own ideas, their own emotions, their 
own ways of approaching the problems of personality and society. The 
city labourer* according to his own fashion, the rural toiler according to his, 
will each b^d bis dear world-conception permeated vrUIbk \!ca ^^%<iaA^^^ 



of the workers. There is no more superb or beautiful phenomenon tlian 
the one of which our nearest descendants will be both witnesses and par- 
ticipants: The building by collective Labour of its own general, rich and 
free soul. 

Instruction will surely be an important but not a decisive element 
What is more important here is the criticism, the creativeness of the 
masses themselves; for science and art have only in some of their parts 
a general human importance. They suffer radical changes with every 
far-reaching class upheaval. 

Throughout Russia, particularly among the city labourers, but also among 
the peasants, a powerful wave of cultural educational movement has arisen; 
workers' and soldiers' organisations of this kind are multiplying rapidly. 
To meet them, to lend them support, to clear the road before them, is the 
first task of a revolutionary and popular government in the domain of 
democratic education. 

The Constituent Assembly will doubtless soon begin its work. It alone 
can permanently establish the order of national and social life in our 
country, and at the same time the general character of the organisation 
of popular education. 

Now, however, with the passage of power to the Soviets, the really 
democratic character of the Constituent Assembly is assured. The line 
which the State Commission, relying upon the State Committee, will fol- 
low, will hardly suffer any modification under the influence of the Con- 
stituent Assembly. Without pre-determining it, the new People's Gov- 
ernment considers itself within its rights in enacting in this domeun a series 
of measures which aim at enriching and enlightening as soon as possible 
the spiritual life of the country. 

The Ministry: The present work must in the interim proceed through 
the Ministry of the People's Education. Of all the necessary alterations 
in its composition and construction the State Commission will have charge, 
elected by the Executive Committee of the Soviets and the State Com- 
mittee. Of course the order of State authority in the domain of the peo- 
ple's education will be established by the Constituent Assembly. Until 
then, the Ministry must play the part of the executive apparatus for both 
the State Committee and the State Commission for People's Education. 

The pledge of the country's safety lies in the cooperation of all its vital 
and genuinely democratic forces. 

We believe that the energetic effort of the working people and of the 
honest enlightened intellectuals will lead the country out of its painful 
crisis, and through complete democracy to the reign of Socialism and the 
brotherhood of nations. 

People's Commissar on Education, 


On the Order in Which the Laws Are to he Ratified and Published, 

1. Until the convocation of the Constituent Assembly, the enacting 
and publishing of laws shall be carried out in the order decreed by the 
present Provisional Workmen's and Peasants' Government, elected by the 
All-Russian Congress of Workers', Peasants' and Soldiers' Deputies. 

2. Every bill is presented for consideration of the Government by 
the respective Ministry, signed by the duly authorised People's Commis- 
sar; or it is presented by the legislative section attached to the Govern- 
ment, signed by the chief of the section. 

3. After its ratification by the Government, the decree in its final edi- 
tion, in the name of the Russian Republic, is signed by the president of 

the Council of People's ComnAssats, ox iw Vvnv Vs^ the People's Commissar 


who presented it for the consideration of the Government, and is then 

4. The date of publishing it in the official "Gazette of the Provisional 
Workmen's and Peasants* Government," is the date of its becoming law. 

5. In the decree there may be appointed a date, other than the date 
of publication, on which it shall become law, or it may be promulgated 
by telegraph; in which case it is to be regarded in every locality as be- 
coming law upon the publication of the telegram. 

6. The promulgation of legislative acts of the government by the State 
Senate is abolished. The Legislative Section attached to the Council of 
People's Commissars issues periodically a collection of regulations and 
orders of the government which possess the force of law. 

7. The Central Executive Committee of the Soviets of Workers', Peas- 
ants', and Soldiers' Deputies (Tsay-ee-kah) has at all times the right to 
cancel, alter or annul any of the Government decrees. 

In the name of the Russian BepubUc, the President of the Cowncil of 
People's ComnUssars, 

V. UiJANov-LdsinK. 



Order Issued by the Military Revolutonary Com/mUtee 

1. Until further order the production of alcohol and alcoholic 
drinks is prohibited. 

2. It is ordered to all producers of alcohol and alcoholic drinks to in- 
form not later than on the 27th inst. of the exact site of their stores. 

3. All culprits against this order will be tried by a Military Revolu- 
tionary Court. 

The Military Reyolutiokary Commitiee. 



From the Committee of the Finland Guard Reserve Regiment to all 
House Committees and to the citizens of Vasili Ostrov. 

The bourgeoisie has chosen a very sinister method of fighting against 
the proletariat; it has established in various parts of the city huge wine 
depots, and distributes liquor among the soldiers, in this manner attempt- 
ing to sow dissatisfaction in the ranks of the Revolutionary army. 

It is herewith ordered to all house committees, that at 3 o'clock, the time 
set for posting this order, they shall in person and secretly notify the 
President of the Committee of the Finland Guard Regiment, concerning 
the amount of wine in their premises. 

Those who violate this order will be arrested and given trial before a 
merciless court, and their property will be confiscated, ana the stock of 
wine discovered will be 

BLOWN UP with dynamite 

2 hours after this warning, 

because more lenient measures, as experience has shown, do not bring the 
desired results. 

Remember, there will be no other warning before the explosions. 

Regimental Committee of the FmUvnd Ouatd. ^*q|VKv*ts.\.. 




mhitaby RKYOLunoKAKY coMMiiTEB. Buxxsmr vo, 9 

November l^h, in the evening, Kerenslcy sent a proposition to the revo- 
lutionary troops — **to lay down their arms." Kerensl^s men opened ar- 
tillery ftre. Our artillery answered and compelled the enemy to be rilent. 
The Cossaclss assumed the offensive. The aeadly fire of the sailors, the 
Red Guards and the soldiers forced the Cossacks to retreat. Our ar- 
moured cars rushed in among the ranks of the enemy. Tlie enemy is 
fleeing. Our troops are in pursuit. The order has been given to arrest 
Kerensky. Tsarskoye Selo Ims been taken by the revolutionary troops. 

The Lettish Riflemen: The Military Revolutionary Committee has re- 
ceived precise information that the valiant Lettish Riflemen have arrived 
from the Front and taken up a position in the rear of Kerensky's bands. 

From the Staff of the Military BevoUUionary Committee 

The seizure of Gatchina and Tsarskoye Selo by Kerensky's detachments 
is to be explained by the complete absence of artillery and machine-guns 
in these places, whereas Kerensky's cavalry was provided with artiUery 
from the beginning. The last two days were days of enforced work for 
our Staff, to provide the necessary quantity of guns, machine-guns, field 
telephones, etc., for the revolutionary troops. Wien this work — ^with the 
energetic assistance of the District Soviets and the factories (the Putilov 
Works, Obukhov and others) — ^was accomplished, the issue of the ex- 
pected encounter left no place for doubt: on the side of the revolutionary 
troops there was not only a surplus in quantity and such a powerful 
material base as Petrograd, but also an enormous moral advantage. All 
the Petrograd regiments moved out to the positions with tremendous en- 
thusiasm. The C^rrison Conference elected a Control Commission of five 
soldiers, thus securing a complete unity between the conunander in chief 
and the garrison. At the Garrison Conference it was unanimously decided 
to begin decisive action. 

The artillery fire on the 12th of November developed with extraordinary 
force by 3 P.M. The Cossacks were completely demoralised. A parlia- 
mentarian came from them to the staff of the detachment at Krasnoye Selo, 
and proposed to stop the firing, threatening otherwise to take "decisive** 
measures. He was answered that the firing would cease when Kerensky 
laid down his arms. 

In the developing encounter all sections of the troops — the sailors, 
soldiers and the Red Guards — ^showed unlimited courage. The sailors 
continued to advance until they had fired all their cartridges. The num- 
ber of casualties has not been established yet, but it is larger on the 
part of the counter-revolutionary troops, who experienced great losses 
through one of our armoured cars. 

'kerensky's staff, fearing that they would be surrounded, gave the order 
to retreat, which retreat speedily assumed a disorderly character. By 
11-12 P.M., Tsarskoye Selo, including the wireless station, was entirely 
occupied by the troops of the Soviets. The Cossacks retreated towards 
Gatchina and Colpinno. 

. The morale of the troops is beyond all praise. Hie order has been 
given to pursue the retreating Cossacks. From the Tsarskoye Selo sta- 
tion a radio-telegram was sent \xnm^^QX.e\^ lo the Front and to all local 
Soviets throughout Russia, "^uxVhet ^e\«2\^ Nr^\st ^^ram£«s&ii»8Qbl. . . . 



Three regiments of the Petrograd garrison refused to take anjrpart in 
the battle against Kerensky. On the morning of the 13th they summoned 
to a joint conference sixty delegates from the Front, in order to find some 
way to stop the civil war. This conference appointed a committee to go 
and persuaide Kerensky's troops to lay down their arms. They proposed 
to ask the Government soldiers the following questions: (1) Will the 
soldiers and Ossacks of Kerensky recognise the Tsay-ee-kah as the re- 
pository of Governmental power, responsible to the Congress of Soviets? 
(2) Will the soldiers and Cossacks accept the decrees of the second Con- 
gress of Soviets? (3) Will they accept the Land and Peace decrees? (4) 
Will they agree to cease hostilities and return to their units? (5) Will 
they consent to the arrest of Kerensky, Krasnov and Savinkov? 
, At the meeting of the Petrograd l^viet, Zinoviev said, "It would be 
foolish to think that this committee could finish the affair. The enemy 
can only be broken by force. However, it would be a crime for us not 
to try every peaceful means to bring the Cossacks over to us. . . . What 
we need is a military victory. . . . The news of an armistice is prema- 
ture. Our Staff will, be ready to conclude an armistice when the enemy 
can no longer do any harm; . . . 

**At present, the influence of our victory is creating new political con- 
ditions. . . . Torday the Socialist Revolutionaries are inclined to admit 
the Bolsheviki into the new Government. ... A decisive victory is indis- 
pensable, so that those who hesitate will have no further hesitation. . . ." 

At the City Duma all attention was concentrated on the formation of 
the new Government. In many factories and barracks already Revolution- 
ary Tribunals were operating, and the Bolsheviki were threatening to set 
up more of these, and try Gotz and Avksentiev before them. Dan pro- 
posed that an ultimatum be sent demanding the abolition of these Revolu- 
tionary Tribunals, or the other members of the Conference would immedi- 
ately break off all negotiations with the Bolsheviki. 

Shingariov, Caclet, declared that the Municipality ought not to take 
part in any agreement with the Bolsheviki. . . . "Any agreement with the 
maniacs is impossible until they lay down their arms and recognise the 
authority of independent courts of law. . . ." 

Yartsev, for tiie Yedinstvo group, declared that any agreement with 
the Bolsheviki would be equiviuent to a Bolshevik victory. , . . 

Mayor Schreider, for the Socialist Revolutionaries, stated that he was 
opposed to all agreement with the Bolsheviki. . . . "As for a Government, 
that ought to spring from the popular will; and since the popular will 
has been expressed in the municipal elections, the popular will which can 
create a Government is actually concentrated in the Duma. . . .'* 

After other speakers, of which only the representative of the Mensheviki 
Internationalists was in favour of considering the admission of the Bolshe- 
viki into the new Government, the Duma voted to continue its representa- 
tives in the VikzheVi conference, but to insist upon the restoration of the 
Provisional Government before everything, and to exclude the Bolsheviki 
from the new power. • . . 


truce. KRASNOV's answer to the COMAnTTEE FOR SALVATIOK 

"In answer to your telegram proposing an immediate armistice, the 
Supreme Commander, not wishing further futile bloodshed, consents to 
enter into negotiations and to establish relations between the armies of 
the Government and the insurrectionists. He proposes lo \Vnr. Ci^ckst^ '^viJ^ 


of the insurrectionists to recall Its regiments to Petrograd, to declare the 
line Ligovo-Pulkovo-Colpinno neutral, and to allow the advance-guards of 
the Grovernment cavalry to enter Tsarskoye Selo, for the Durpose of estab- 
Usbing order. The answer to this proposal must be placed in the hands of 
* our envoys before eight o'clock to-morrow morning. 




On the evening that Kerensky's troops retreated from Tsarskoye Selo, 
some priests organised a religious procession throu^ the streets of the 
town, making speeches to the citizens in which they asked the people to 
support the rightful authority, the Provisional Government. When the 
Cossacks had retreated, and the first Red Guards entered the town, wit- 
nesses reported that the priests had incited the people against the Soviets, 
and had said prayers at the grave of Rasputin, which lies behind the 
Imperial Palace. One of the priests. Father Ivan Kutchurov, was ar- 
rested and shot by the infuriated Red Guards. . . . 

Just as the Red Guards entered the town the electric lights were shut 
off, plunging the streets in complete darkness. The director of the electric 
light plant, Lubovitch, was arrested by the Soviet troops and asked why 
he had shut off the lights. He was found some time later in the room 
where he had been imprisoned with a revolver in his. hand and a bullet- 
hole in his temple. 

The Petrograd anti-Bolshevik papers came out next day with head- 
lines, "Pleldianov's temperature 39 degrees P Plekhanov lived at Tsarskoye 
Selo, where he was lying ill in bed. Red Guards arrived at the bouse and 
searched it for arms, questioning the old man. 

"What class of society do you belong to?" they asked him. 

"I am a revolutionist," answered' Pl^Jianov, **who for forty years has 
devoted his life to the struggle for liberty!" 

"Anyway," said a workman, **you have now sold yourself to the bour- 
geoisie r 

^ The workers no longer knew Plekhanov, pioneer -of the Russian Social 
Democracy I 



'•The detachments at Gatchina, deceived by Kerensky, have laid down 
their arms and decided to arrest Kerensky. That chief of the counter- 
revolutionary campaign has fled. The Army, by an enormous majority, has 
pronounced in favour of the second All-Russian Conji^ess'of Soviets, and 
of the Government which it has created. Scores of delegates from the 
Front have hastened to Petrograd to assure the Soviet Grovernment of the 
Army's fidelity. No twisting of the facts, no calumny against the revo- 
lutionary workers, soldiers, and peasants, has been able to defeat the 
People. The Workers' and Soldiers' Revolution is victorious. . . . 

'The Tsay-ee-kah appeals to the troops which march under the flag of 
the counter-revolution, and invites them immediately to lay down Sieir 
arms — to shed no longer the blood of their brothers in the interests of a 
handful of land-owners and capitalists. The Workers', Soldiers' and 
Peasants' Revolution curses those who remain even for a moment under 
the flag of the People's enemies. . . . 

"Cossacks 1 Come over to the rank of the victorious People! Railway- 
mcD, postmen^ tdegrapYiers— aU, all support the new Government of the 

People r 





I myself verified the damage to the Kremlin, which I visited immedi- 
ately after the bombardment. The Little Nicolai Palace, a building of no 
particular importance, which was occupied occasionally by receptions of 
one of the Grand Duchesses, had served as barraciss for the yunkers. It 
was not only bombarded, but pretty well sacked; fortunately iiiere was 
nothing in it of particular historical value. 

Usspensky Cathedral had a shell-hole in one of the cupolas, but except 
for a few feet of mosaic in the ceiling, was undamaged. The frescoes on 
the porch of Blagovestchensky Cathedral were badly damaged by a shellr 
Another shell hit the corner of Ivan Veliki. Tchudovsky Monastery was 
hit about thirty times, but only one shell went through a window into the 
interior, the others breaking the brick window-moidding and the roof- 

The clock over the Spasskaya Gate was smashed. Troitsky Gate was 
battered, but easily reparable. One of the lower towers had lost its brick 

The church of St. Basil was untouched, as was the great Imperial Pal- 
ace, with all the treasures of Moscow and Petrograd in its cellar, and the 
crown jewels in the Treasury. These places were not even entered. 

lukatcharsky's declaration 

**Comrades I You are thb young masters of the country, and although 
now you have much to do and think about, you must know how to defend 
your artistic aiid scientific treasures. 

"Comrades! That which is happening at Moscow is a horrible, irrep- 
arable misfortune. • . • The People in its struggle for the power has 
mutilated our glorious capital. 

"It is particularly terrible in these days of violent struggle, of destruc- 
tive warfare, to be Conmiissar of Public Education. Only the hope of the 
victory of Socialism, the source of a new and superior culture, brings me 
comfort On me weighs the responsibility of protecting the artistic wealth 
of the people. . . . Not being able to remain at my post, where I had no 
influence, I resigned, (^y comrades, the other Commissars, considered this 
resignation inadmissible. I shall therefore remain at nnr post. . . . And 
moreover, I understand that the damage done to the Kremlin is not as 
serious as has been reported. .\. . 

**But I beg you, comrades, to give me your support. . . . Preserve for 
yourselves and your descendants the beauty of our land; be the guardians 
of the property of the People. 

"Soon, very soon, even the most ignorant, who have been held in igno- 
rance so long, will awake and understand what a source of joy, strength 
and wisdom is art • . •" 









Family Name 

Christian Name Profesrion. 



House Committee 


SuppuKB ON Hand 



Monthly Average 



Monthly Rent 



For Underwear. 

For Suits 


Other Kinds. 

Ready Made 




Sununer . . . 

Dresses and Suits 
Underwear .... 



I the undersigned declare that the data given above is true» and that I 
have not received this card elsewhere. 


(Signature of leaseholder) 

Moscow, 191 

(Seal of the House Committee.) 




In virtue of the powers vested in me by the Military Revolutionary Com- 
mittee attached to the Moscow Soviet of Workers' and Soldiers' Deputies, 
I decrees 

1. All banks with branches, the Central State Savings Bank with 
branches, and the savings banks at the Post and Telegraph offices are to be 
opened beginning November 99nd, from 11 A. M. to 1 P. M. until further 

9. On current accounts and on the books of the savings banks, pay- 
ments will be made by the above mentioned institutions, of not more than 
150 rubles for each depositor during the course of the next week. 

3. Pa3na[ients of amounts exceeding 150 rubles a week on current ac- 
counts and savings banks books, also payments 'on other accounts of all 
kinds will be allowed during the next three days — November 33nd. 93d, and 
S4th, only in ttie f oUowing eases*. 


(a) On the accounts of military organisations for the satisfaction of 
tlieir needs; 

(b) For the pajnnent of salaries of employees and the earnings of 
workers according to the tables and lists certified by the Factory Com- 
mittees or Soviets of Employees, and attested by the signatures of the Com- 
missars, or the representatives of the Military Revolutionary Committee, and 
the district Military Revolutionary Committees. 

4. Not more than 150 rubles are to be paid against drafts; the re- 
maining sums are to be entered on current account, payments on which are 
to be made in the order established by the present decree. 

5. All other banking operations are prohibited during these three days. 

6. The receipt of money on all accounts is allowed for any amount. 

7. The representatives of the Finance Council for the certification of 
the authorisations indicated in clause 3 will hold their office in the build- 
ing of the Stock Exchange, Ilyinka Street, from 10 A. M. to 9 P. M. 

8. The Banks and Savings Banks shall send the totals of daily cash 
operations by 5 P. M. to the headquarters of the Soviet, Skobeliev Square, 
to the Military Revolutionary Committee, for the Finance Council. 

9. All employees and managers of credit institutions of all kinds 
who refuse to comply with this aecree shall be responsible as enemies of 
the Revolution and of the mass of the population, before the Revolutionary 
Tribunals. Their names shall be published for general information. 

10. For the control of the operations of Branches of the Savings Banks 
and Banks within the limits of this decree, the district Military Revolu- 
tionary Committees shall elect three representatives and appoint their 
place of -business. 

Fulty-awthoriBed Commiasa/r of the MiUtary Revolutionary Committee, 

S. Shevebdht-Maxsimevko. 




This chapter extends over a period of two months, more or less. It 
covers the time of negotiations with the Allies, the negotiations and armis- 
tice with the Germans, and the beginning of the Peace negotiations at 
Brest-Litovsk, as well as the period in which were laid the foundations of 
the Soviet State. 

However, it is no part of my pui^se in this book to describe and in- 
terpret these very important historical events, which require more space. 
They are therefore reserved for another volume, "Komilov to Brest- 

In this chapter, then, I have confined myself to the Soviet Government's 
attempts to consolidate its political power at home, and sketched its suc- 
cessive conquests of hostile domestic den^ents — ^which process was tempo- 
rarily interrupted by the disastrous Peace of Brest-Iitovsk. 



The October Revolution of the workers and peasants began under the 
common banner of Emancipation. 

Hbe peasants are being emancipated from IVie ^o-^e^ic ^t ^^da. \ask^- 
owners, for tiicrc is no longer the landowtkCt*& pTO^ct^ tVijd^. Vdl^^'Nssi^-" 


it has been abolished. The soldiers and sailors are being emancipated from 
the power of autocratic generals, for generals will henceforth be elective 
and subject to recall. The workingmen are being emancipated from the 
whims and arbitrary will of the capitalists, for henceforth there will be 
established the control of the workers over mills and factories. Every- 
thing living and capable of life is being emancipated from the hateful 

There remain only the peoples of Russia, who have suffered and are 
suffering oppression and arbitrariness, and whose emancipation must im- 
mediate^ be begun, whose liberation must be effected resolutely and 

During the period of Tsarism the peoples of Russia were systematically 
incited against one another. The result of such a policy are known: mas- 
sacres and pogrom* on the one hand, slavery of peoples on the other. 

There can be and there must be no return to this disgraceful policy. 
Henceforth the policy of a voluntary and honest union of the peoples of 
Russia must be substituted. 

In the period of imperialism, after the March revolution, when the 
power was transferred into the hands of the Cadet bourgeoisie, the naked 
policy of provocation gave way to one of cowardly distrust of the peoples 
of Russia, to a policy of fault-finding, of meaningless ''freedom" and 
''equality" of peoples. The results of such a policy are known: the growth 
of national enmity, the impairment of mutual confidence. 

An end must be put to this unworthy policy of falsehood and distrust, 
of fault-finding and provocation. Henceforth it must be replaced by an 
open and honest policy leading to the complete mutual confidence of the peo- 

Eles of Russia. Only as the result of such a trust can there be formed an 
Dnest and lasting union of the peoples of Russia. Only as the result of 
such a union can the workers and peasants of the peoples of Russia be 
cemented into one revolutionary force able to resist all attempts on the 
part of the imperialist-annexationist bourgeoisie. 


On the NationalUation of the Banks 

In the interest of the regular organisation of the national economy, of 
the thorough eradication of bank speculation and the complete emancipation 
of the workers, peasants, and the whole labouring population from the ex- 
ploitation of banking capital, and with a view to the establishment of a 
single national bank of the Russian Republic which shall serve the real 
interests of the people and the poorer classes, the Central Executive Com- 
mittee (Tsay-ee-kah) resolves: 

1. The banking business is declared a state monopoly. 

2. All existing private joint-stock banks and banking ofSces are merged 
in the State Bank. 

5. The assets and liabilities of the liquidated establishments are 
taken over by the State Bank. 

4. The order of the merger of private banks in the State Bank is 
to be determined by a special decree. 

* 5. The temporary administration of the affairs of the private banks is 
entrusted to the board of the State Bank. 

6. The interests of the small depositors "will be safeguarded. 


On the Equality of Bank of AU MUUary Men 

In realisation of the will of the revolutionary people regarding the 
prompt and decisive abolition of all remnants of former inequality in the 
Army, the Council of People's Commissars decrees: 

1. All ranks and grades in the Army, beginning with the rank of 
Corporal and ending with the rank of General, are abolished. The Army 
of the Russian Republic consists now of free and equal citizens, bearing 
the honourable title of Soldiers of the Revolutionary Army. 

2. All privileges connected with the former ranks and grades, also all 
outward marks of distinction, are abolished. 

3. All addressing by titles is abolished. 

4. All decorations, orders, and other marks of distinction are abolished. 

5. With the abolition of the rank of officer, all separate officers' or- 
ganisations are abolished. 

Note. — Orderlies are left only for headquarters, chanceries, Committees 
and other Army organisations. 

President of the Council of People's Commissars, 

Vl. Uliakov (Lenin). 

People's Commissar for Military and Naval A fairs, 

N. Krylekko. 

People's Commissar for Military Affairs, 


Secretary of the Council, 


« « « « 

On the Elective Principle and the Organisation of Authority in the Army 

1. The army serving the will of the toiling people is subject to its 
supreme representative — the Council of People's Commissars. 

9. Full authority within the limits of military units and combinations 
is vested in the respective Soldiers' Committees and Soviets. 

3. Those phases of the life and activity of the troops which are already 
under the jurisdiction of the Committees are now formally placed in their 
direct control. Over such branches of activity which the Conunittees cannot 
assume, the control of the Soldiers' Soviets is established. 

4. The election of commanding Staff and officers is introduced. All 
commanders up to the commanders of regiments, inclusive, are elected by 
general suffrage of squads, platoons, companies, squadrons, batteries, 
divisions (artillery, 9-3 batteries), and regiments. All commanders higher 
than the commander of a regiment, and up to the Supreme Commander, 
inclusive, are elected by congresses or conferences of Committees. 

Note. — By the term "conference" must be understood a meeting of the 
respective Committees together with delegates of committees one degree lower 
in rank. (Sneb as a "conference*' of Regimental Committees with delegates 
from Company Compiittees. — ^Author.) 

5. The elected commanders above the rank of commander of regiment 
must be confirmed by the nearest Supreme Committee. 

Note. In the event of a refusal by a Supreme Committee to confirm an 
elected commander, with a statement of reasons for such refusal, a commander 
elected by the lower Committee a second time must be confirmed. 

6. The commanders of Armies are elected by Army congresses. Com- 
manders of Fronts are elected by congresses of the respective Fronts. 

7. To posts of a technical character, demanding special knowled^ tst. 
other practical preparation, namely: doctors, en^iveets, VfeOcimc^waa^i \^t"SB«i^ 


and wireless operators, aviators, aatomobilists, etc., only sueh persons as 
possess the required special knowledge may be dected, bf the Conunittees 
of tiie units of the respective services. 

8. Cliiefs of Staff must be chosen from among persons with special 
military training for that post 

9. All other members of the Staff are appointed by the Chief of Staff, 
and confirmed by the respective congresses. 

Note.— All penoni with special training must be listed in a special list. 

10. The right is reserved to retire from the service all commanders 
on active service who are not elected by the soldiers to any post, and who 
consequently are ranked as privates. 

11. All other functions oeside those pertaining to the command, with 
tlie exception of posts in the economic departments, are filled by appoint- 
ment of the respective elected commanders. 

19. Detailed instructions regarding the elections of the commsuiding 
Staff will be published separately. 

Preiident of th0 Counoil of People's Commissars, 

Vl. Ulianov (Lekik). 
People's Commissar for MiUtary and Naval A fairs, 


People's Commissar for MiUtarjf A fairs, 


Secretary of the Council, 

N. GoiBiTKoy. 

On the Abolition of Classes and Titles 

1. All classes and class divisions, all class privileges and delimitationsi 
all class organisations and institutions and all civil ranlss are abolished. 

3. All classes of society (nobles, merchants, petty bourgeois, etc.), and 
all titles (Prince, Count and others), and all denominations of civil rank 
(Privy State Councillor, and others), are abolished, and there is established 
the general denomination of Citisen of the Russian Republic. 

3. The property and institutions of the classes of nobility are trans- 
ferred to the corresponding autonomous Zemstvos. 

4. The property of merchant and bourgeois organisations is transferred 
immediately to the Municipal Self-Govemments. 

5. All class institutions of any sort, with their property, their rules of 
procedure, and their archives, are transferred to the administration of the 
Municipalities and Zemstvos. 

6. All articles of existing laws applying to these nuitters are herewith 

7. The present decree becomes effective on the day it is published and 
applied by the Soviets of Workers', Soldiers', and Peasants' Deputies. 

The present decree has been confirmed by the Tsay^e^kah at tiie meet- 
ing of November S3d, 1917, and signed by: 

President of the Tsc^-eekah, 


President of the Council of People's Comsnissare, 

Vl. Uliakov (Lekiit). 

Executive of the Council of PeopWs Commieeas9, 

V. Bokch-Bbuxvitch. 

Secretary of the Council, 



On December 3d the Council of People's Connnissars resolved 'Ho reduce 
the salaries of functionaries and employees in all Government institutions 
and establishments, general or special, without exception." 

To begin with, the Council fixed the salary of a People's Commissar 
at 500 rubles per month, with 100 rubles additional for each grown member 
of the family incapable of worlc. . . . 

This was the highest salary paid to any Grovemment official. . . . 

Countess Panina was arrested and brought to trial before the first 
Supreme Revolutionary TribunaL The trial is described in the chapter on 
"Revolutionary Justice" in my forthcoming volume, "Komilov to Brest- 
Litovsk." The prisoner was sentenced to **return the money, and then be 
liberated to the public contempt." In other words, she was set free! 



From Drug Naroda (Menshevik), November 18th: 

**The story of the immediate peace' of the Bolshevik! reminds us of a 
joyous moving^picture film. . . . Neratov runs — Trotzky pursues; Neratov 
dhnbs a wall, Trotzky too; Neratov dives into the water — ^Trotdsy follows; 
Neratov climbs onto the roof — Trotzky right behind him; Neratov hides 
under tiie bed — and Trotzky has him I He has him ! Naturally, peace is im- 
mediately signed. ... 

'*A11 is empty and silent at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The 
couriers are respectful, but their faces wear a caustic expression. . . . 

''How about arresting an ambassador and signing an armistice or a 
Peace Treaty with him^ But they are strange folk, these ambassadors. 
They keep silent just as if they had heard nothing. Hola, hola, Eng- 
land, France, Germany! We have signed an armistice with you! Is it 
possible that you know nothing about it? Nevertheless, it has been pub- 
lished in all the papers and posted on all the walls. On a Bolshevik's word 
of honour. Peace has been signed. We're not asking much of you; you just 
have to write two words. . . . 

"The ambassadors remain silent. The Powers remain silent. All is 
empty and silent in the office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs. 

" 'Listen,' says Robespierre-Trotzlqr to his assistant Marat-Uritzky, *run 
over to the British Ambassador's, tell him we're proposing peace P 

"'Go yourself,' says Marat-Uritzky. 'He's not receiving.' 

"'Telephone him, then.' 

"Tve tried. The receiver's off the hook.' 

"'Send him a telegram.' 

" 'I did.' 

"'WeU, with what results 

"Marat-Uritzky sighs and does not tfbswer. Robespierre-Trotzky spits 
furiously into the comer. . . . 

"'Listen, Marat,' recommences Trotzky, after a moment. 'We must 
absolutely show that we're conducting an active foreign policy. How can 
we do that?' 

"'Launch another decree about arresting Neratov,' answers Uritzky, 
with a profound air. 

" 'Marat, you're a blockhead I' cries Trotzky. All of a sudden he arises, 
terrible and majestic, looking at tills moment like Robespierre. 

" 'Write, Uritzky V he says with severity. 'Write a letter to the British 
ambassador, a registered letter with receipt demanded. VTtII^&V \ ^^stf^ ^^i^*^ 
write I Tlie peoples of the world await an lnmiedia\.« ^«j^^ 


**In the enormous and empty Ministry of Foreign Affairs are to be 
heard only the sound of two typewriters. With his own hands Trotslgr is 
ccmducting an active foreign policy. . . .** 



To the Attention of All Workers and All Soldiers. 

November 11th, in the club of the Preobrazhensl^ Regim nt, was held 
an extraordinary meeting of representatives of all the units of the Fetro- 
grad garrison. 

The meeting was called upon the initiative of the Preobraehensky and 
Semionovsky Regiments, for the discussion of the question as to which 
Socialist parties are for the power of the Soviets, which are against, 
which are for the people, which against, and if an agreement between them 
is possible. 

The representatives of the Tsav-ee-kah, of the Municipal Duma, of the 
Avksentiev Peasants' Soviets, and of all the political parties from the 
Bolsheviki to the Populist Socialists, were invited to the meeting. 

After long deliberation, having heard the declarations of cdl parties and 
organisations, the meeting by a tremendous maiority of votes agreed that 
only the Bolsheviki and uie Left Socialist Revolutionaries are for the peo- 
ple, and that all the other parties are only attempting, under cover of 
seeldng an agreement, to deprive the people of the conquests won in the 
days of the great Workers' and Peasants' Revolution of November. 

Here is the text of the resolution carried at this meeting of the Petro- 
grad garrison, by 61 votes against 11, and 12 not voting; 

**The garrison conference, summoned at the initiative of the Semion- 
ovsky and Preobrazhensky Regiments, on hearing the representatives of all 
the Socialist parties and popular organisations on the question of an 
agreement between the different political parties finds that: 

**1. The representatives of the Tsay^ee-kah, the representatives of the 
Bolshevik party and the Left Socialist Revolutionaries, declared definitelv 
that they stand for a Government of the Soviets, for the decrees on Land, 
Peace and Workers' Control of Industry, and that upon this platform they 
are willing to agree with all the Socialist parties. 

"2. At the same time the representatives of the other parties (Men- 
shevild. Socialist Revolutionaries) either gave no answer at all, or de- 
clared simply that they were opposed to the power of the Sonets and 
against the decrees on Land, Peace and Workers' ControL 

"In view of this the meeting resolves: 

** *1. To express severe censure of all parties which, under cover of an 
agreement, wish practically to annul the popular conquests of the Revolu- 
tion of November. 

'* *9. To express full confidence in the Tsay^ee-kah and the Council of 
People's Commissars, and to promise them complete support.' 

"At the same time the meeting deems it necessary that the comrades 
Left Socialist Revolutionaries should enter the People's Government." 



It was afterward discovered that there was a regular organisation, 
maintained by the Cadets, for provoidng rioting among die soldiers. There 
would be telephone messages to the different barracks, announcing that wine 
was being given away at such and such an address, and when Sie soldiers 
arrived at the spot an Indmdual would point out the location of tiie 
cellar. • • • 


The Council of People's Commissars appointed a Commissar for the 
Fight Against Drunkenness, who, besides mercilessly putting down the 
wine riots, destroyed hundreds of thousands of bottles of liquor. The 
Winter Palace cellars, containing rare vintages valued at more than five 
million dollars, were at first flooded, and then the liquor was removed to 
Cronstadt and destroyed. 

In this work the Cronstadt sailors, •*flower and pride of the rdvolutionaiy 
forces," as Trotzky called them, acquitted themselves with iron self- 
discipline. • • • 



Two orders concerning them: 

Council of PeopWa CorMtdsBorB 
To the Military BevohUionary Committee 

The disorganisation of the food supply created by the war, and the lack 
of system, is becoming to the last degree acute, thanks to the speculators, 
marauders and their followers on the railways, in the steamship offices, for- 
warding offices, etc. 

Taidng advantage of the nation's greatest misfortunes, these criminal 
spoliators are playing with the health and life of millions of soldiers and 
workers, for their own benefit. % 

Such a situation cannot be borne a single day longer. ^ 

The Council of People's Commissars proposes to the Military Revo* 
lutionary Committee to take the most decisive measures towards the up- 
rooting of speculation, sabotage, hiding of supplies, fraudulent detention 
of cargoes, etc. 

All persons guilty of such actions shall be subject, by special orders 
of the Military Revolutionary Committee, to immediate arrest and confine- 
ment in the prisons of Cronstadt, pending their arraignment before the 
Revolutionary Tribunal. 

All the popular organisations are invited to cooperate in the struggle 
against the spoliators of food supplies. 

President of the Council of People's Commissaries, 

V. Ulianov (Lekik). 

Accepted for execution. 

Military Revolutionary Committee attached to the 
C. E, C. of the Soviets of W. 4; 8. Deputies. 

Petrograd, Nov. SSd, 1917. 

To AU Honest Citizenf 

The MiUtary Revolutionary Committee Decrees: 

Spoliators, marauders, speculators, are declared to be enemies of the 
People. ... 

The Military Revolutionary Committee proposes to all public organi- 
sations, to all honest citizens: to inform the Military Revolutionary Com- 
mittee immediately of all cases of spoliation, marauding, speculation, which 
become loiown to them. 

The struggle against this evil is the business of all honest people. 
The Military Revolutionary Committee expects the su^^i^otI ^^ tiJ^. \» 
whom the interests of the People are dear. 


The Military Revolutionary Committee will be merciless in pursuit of 
speculators and marauders. 

Thx MiLirART RByoLunosTAmT Commtrkx. 
Petrograd, Dec 9d, 1917. 



"The situation at Petrograd is desperate. The city is cut off from the 
outside world and is entirely in the power of the Bolsheviki. . . . People 
are an^sted in the streets, thrown into the Neva, drowned and imprisoned 
without any charge. Even Burtzev is shut up in Peter-Paul fortress, 
under strict guard. 

"The organisation at whose head I am is working without rest to unite 
all the officers and what is left of the yunker schools, and to arm them. 
The situation cannot be saved except by creating regiments of officers and 
yunkers, Attaclung with these regiments, and having gained a first success, 
we could later gain the aid of the garrison troops; but without that first 
success it is impossible to count on a single solaier, because thousands of 
them are divided and terrorised by the scum which exists in every regiment 
Most of the Cossacks are tainted by Bolshevik propaganda, thanks to the 
strange policy of General Dutov, who allowed to pass the moment when by 
decisive action something could have been obtaineol. The policy of negotia- 
tions and concessions has borne its fruits: all that is respectable is perse- 
cuted, and it is the plebe and the criminals who dominate — and nothing can 
be done except by snooting and hanging them. 

"We are awaiting you here. General, and at the moment of your arrival, 
we shall advance with all the forces at our disposal. But for that we must 
establish some communication with you, and before all, clear up the fol- 
lowing points: 

"(1) Do you know that in your name all officers who could take part in 
the fight are being invited to leave Petrograd on the pretext of joining you? 

"(2) About when can we count on your arrival at Petrograd? We 
should like to know in order to coordinate our actions. 

"In spite of the criminal inaction of the conscious people here, whidi 
allowed the yoke of Bolshevism to be laid upon us — ^in spite of the extra- 
ordinary pig-headedness of the majority of officers, so difficult to organise— 
we believe in spite of all that Truth is on our side, and that we shall con- 
quer the vicious and criminal forces who say that they are acting for 
motives of love of country and in order to save it. Whatever comes, wc 
shall not permit ourselves to be struck down, and shall remain firm until 
the end." 

Purishkevitch, being brought to trial before the Revolutionary Tribonai, 
was given a short prison term. . . . 



1. The printing of advertisements, in newspapers, books, Wll-boards, 
kiosks, in offices and other establishments is declared to be a State 

9. Advertisements may only be published in the organs of the Pro- 
visional Workers' and Peasants' Government at Petrograd, and in the organs 
of local Soviets. 

3. The proprietors of newspapers and advertising oflkSes, as well as 

ail employees of such establishments, should ranain at their posts until the 

transfer of the adveTUsemeTvV. \m?\Tvt.s& Vo \\» Government . . . supcrin- 

ng the uninterrupted conWimaXioTi oi V5nfc\T VQ>i.^%^ «fiA. Xsa^Sn^^ ov^ to 


the Soviets all private advertising and the sums recdved therefor, as well 
as all accounts and copy. 

4. All managers of publications and businesses dealing with paid 
advertising, as well as their employees and workers, shall agree to hold 
a City Congress, and to join, first the City Trade Unions, and then the 
All-Russian Unions, to organise more thoroughly and justly ihc adver- 
tising business in the Soviet publications, as well as to prepare better 
rules for the public utility of advertising. 

5. All persons found guilty of havmg concealed documents or money, 
or having sabotaged the regulations indicated in paragraphs 3 and 4, will 
be punished by a sentence of not more than three years' miprisonment, and 
all their property will be confiscated. 

6. The paid insertion of advertisements ... in private publications, 
or under a masqued form, will also be severely penalised. 

7. Advertising offices are confiscated by the Government, the owners 
being entitled to compensation in cases of necessity. Small proprietors, _ 
depositors and stock*holders of the confiscated estabushments will be reim- 
bursed for all moneys held by th6m in the concern. 

8. All building officers, counters, and in general every establishment 
doing a business m advertising, should inomediately inform the Soviet of 
Workers' and Soldiers' Deputies of its address, and proceed to tiie transfer 
of its business, under penalty of the punishment indicated in paragraj^ 6, 

PreHdent of the Council of PeovU?$ ComwUaan, 

Vl, Ulianov (Lekut). 
People's Commieear for Public ImtrucHon, 


Secretary of the Council, 

N. CioiBuiroT. 



1. The dty of Petrograd is declared to be In a state of sieae. 

9. All assemblies, meetings and congregations on the streets and squares 
are prohibited. 

5. Attempts to loot wine-cellars, wardiouses, factories, stores, business 
premises, private dwellings, etc., etc., vnU be stopped by mackine'gun fire 
without warning, 

4. House Committees, doormen, janitors and Militiamen are charged 
with the duty of keeping strict order in all houses, courtyards and in the 
streets, and house-doors and carriage-entrances nnist be locked at 9 o'clock 
in the evening, and opened at 7 o'dock in the morning. After 9 Of'dock in 
the evening only tenants may leave the house, under strict control of the 
House Committees. 

6. Those guilty of the distribution, sale or purchase of any kind of 
akohoUc liquor, and also those guilty of the violation of sections 9 and 4, 
wfll be immediately arrested and subjected to the most severe punishment. 

Petrograd, 0th of December, S o'clock in the night. 

OommUtee to Fight Against Pogroms, attached te the Executive 
Committee of the Soffiet of Workers^ and Soldiers^ Deputies. 



Lenin, To the People of Russia: 
*KkKmdoB workers, soldiers, peasants— all toUen! 
**Tbe Workers' and Peasants' Revolution has woa «1 ^^^xc^^bk:«^ ^^ 
Moscow. • . . From the Front and the vVSUg|Cs& attV:v% «wsr| ^«5^«wr| 


hour, greetings to the new Government. . . . The victory of the Revolu- 
tion ... is assured, seeing that it is sustained by the majority of the 

**It is entirely understandable that the proprietors and the capitalists, 
the employees and functionaries closely allied with the bourgeoisW--in a 
word, all the rich and all those who join hands with Uiem — regard the new 
Revolution with hostility, oppose its success, threaten to halt tiie activity of 
the banks, and sabotage or obstruct the woric of other establishments. . . . 
Every conscious worker understands perfectly that we cannot avoid tliis 
hostility, because the high officials have set themselves against the People and 
do not wish to abandon their posts without resistance. But the worldng- 
classes are not for one moment afraid of that resistance. The majority of 
the people are for us. For us are the majority of the workers and the 
oppressed of the whole world. We have justice on our side. Our ultimate 
victory is certain. 

''The resistance of the capitalists and high officials will be broken. No 
one will be deprived of his property without a special law on the nationali- 
sation of banks and financial syndicates. This law is in preparation. Not 
a worker will lose a single kopek; on the contrary, he will be assisted. 
Without at this moment establishing the new taxes, the new Government 
considers one of its primary duties to make a severe accounting and control 
(HI the reception of taxes decreed by the former regime. • . • 

''Comrades workers! Remember that you yourselves direct the Gov- 
ernment. No one will help you unless you organise yourselves and take 
into your own hands the affairs of the State. Your Soviets are now the 
organs of governmental power. . . . Strengthen them, establish a severe 
revolutionary control, pitilessly crush the attempts at anarchy on the part of 
drunkards, brigands, counter-revolutionary yunkera and Komilovists. 

"Establish a strict control over production and the accounting for prod- 
ucts. Arrest and turn over to the Revolutionary Tribunal of the People 
every one who injures the property of the People, by sabotage in produc- 
tion, by concealment of grain-reserves, reserves of other products, by 
retarding the shipments of grain, by bringing confusion into the railroads, 
the poste and the telegrap&s, or in general opposing the great work of 
bringing Peace and transferring the Land to the peasants. . • . 

''Comrades workers, soldiers, peasants — ^all toilers I 

Take immediately all local power into your hands. . . . Little by 
little, with the consent of the majority of peasants, we shall march firmly 
and unhesitatingly toward the victory of Socialism, which will fortify the 
advance-guards of the working-class of the most civilised countries, and 
give to the peoples an enduring peace, and free them from every slavery 
and every exploitation." 


"To AU Workers of Petroprad! 

"Comrades! The Revolution is winning — ^the revolution has won. AD 
the power has passed over to our Soviets. The first weeks are tiie^most 
difficult ones. The broken reaction must be finally crushed, a full triumph 
must be secured to our endeavours. The working-class ought to — must— 
show in these days tbb greatest FntHinsss anu enouraxce, in order to 
facilitate the execution of all the aims of the new People's Cfovernment of 
Soviets. In the next few days decrees on the Labour question will be issued, 
and among the very first will be the decree on Workers' Control over the 
production and regulation of Industry. 


"We ask you to cease imme^aX.^^ «2!\ c^Qittfycc^^ «sA v^£&3kii»l strikes, to 


take up your work, and do it in perfect order. The work In the factories 
and all the industries is necessary for the new Government of Soviets, 
because any interruption of this work will only create new difficulties for 
us, and we have enough as it is. All to your places. 

^The best way to support the new Government of Soviets in these 
days— is by doing your job. 


Petrograd Soviet of W. 4: 8. D. 
Petrograd Council of Trade Umont, 
Petrograd Council of Faetory-Shop CommUU$9. 


From the Employees of the State and pHvaite Banke 
To the Population of Petrograd: 

**Comrades workers, soldiers and citizens I 

^'The Military Revolutionary Committee in an 'extraordinary notice* is 
accusing the workers of the State and private banking and other institutions 
of impeding the work of the Government, directcMi towards tibe ensuring of 
the Front with provisions.' 

''Comrades and citizens, do not believe this calumny, brought against 
us, who are part of the general army of labour. 

"However difficult it be for us to work under the constant threat of 
interference by acts of violence in our hard-working Ufe, however de- 
pressing it be to know that our Country and the Revolution are on the 
verge of ruin, we, nevertheless, all of us, from the highest to the lowest, 
employees, arteUhtchiki, counters, labourers, couriers, etc., are continuing to 
fulfil our duties which are connected with the ensuring of provisions and 
munitions to the Front and country. 

'Xk)unting upon your lack of information, comrades workers and soldiers, 
in questions of finance and banking, you are being incited against workers 
Uke yourselves, because it is desirable to divert tiie responsibility for tiie 
starving and dying brother-soldiers at the Front from the guilty persons 
to the innocent workers who are accomplishing their duty under the ourden 
of general poverty and disorganisation. 

"Remember^ Workers akd Soldiers! The employees have always 
stood up for akd will always stalid up for the in1sre8ts of the toilntg 
people^ part of which they are themselves, ajsfb kot a 8ikols kopek xec- 


"From November 6th to November 33d, i.e., during 17 days, 500 million 
rubles were dispatched to the Front, and 1^ millions to Moscow, besides 
the sums sent to other towns. 

"Keeping guard over the wealth of the people, the master of which 
can be only the Constituent Assembly, representing the whole nation, the 
employees refuse to give out money for purposes which are unknown to 


Central Board of the All-BusHdn Union of Employees 

of the State Bank. 
Central Board of the All-Russian Trade Union of Employees 

of Credit Institutions, 


To ike PopuUUUm of Potro^md, 

**CTnMant Do not believe the falsdiood wUcfa imspoosilde people are 

terrible ealnnuues against 

trying to suggest to f on by spreading terrible ealnnmies against ttk 
ployees of the Ministry of supplies and the wwktra In other Supply 
organisations who are labourinff in these dark days for the sahatioii of 
Russia. CitisensI In posted placards von are called upon to lyndi in, we 
are accused falselv of sabotage and strfices, we are blamed for all the woes 
and misfortunes that the people are suffering, although we have been striv- 
ing indefatigably and uninterruptedly, and are stUT striving, to save the 
Russian people from the horrors of starvation. Notwithstanding all that 
we are bearing as dtisens of unhappy Russia, we have not for one hour 
abandoned our heavy and responsible work of supplying the Army and 
population with provisions. 

"Ttie image of the Army, cold and hungry, saving our very existence 
by its blood and its tortures, does not leave us for a single moment 

**Citixens I If we have survived the blackest days in the life and hlstorv 
of our people, if we have succeeded in preventing famine in Petrograd, 
if we have managed to procure to the suffering army bread and forage by 
means of enormous, aUnost superhuman, efforts, it is because we have 
honestly continued and are still continuing to do our work. ... 

'^o the 'last warning' of the usurpers of the power we replyt It is not 
for you who are leading the country to ruin to threaten us who are doing 
all we can not to allow the country to perish. We are not afraid of threats; 
before us stands the sacred image of tortured Russia. We will continue 
our work of supplying the Army and the people with bread to our last 
efforts, so long as you will not prevent us from accomplishing our duty 
to our country. In the contrary case the Army and tiie people wHl stand 
before the horrors of famine, but the responsibility thereror belongs to 
the perpetrators of violence. 

EmMitwe Committee of the Emfloyeee of the 
Ministry of 8upplUt. 

To the Tchinovniki (GovemmeiU Ofieiali). 

It is notified hereby, that all officials and persons who have quitted 
the service in Government and public institutions or have been dinnissed 
for sabotage or for having failed to report for work on the day fixed, 
and who have nevertheless received their salary paid in advance for the 
time they have not served, are bound to return such salary not later than on 
November JWth, 1917, to those institutions where they were in service. 

In the event of this not being done, these persons will be rendered 
answerable for stealing the Treasury's property and tried by the Militaiy 
Revolutionary Court. 

The MiUtary^Bevolutionafy Committee, 

December 7th, 1917. 

« « « * 

From the Special Board for the 8uppliee 


*The conditions of our work for the supplying of Petrograd are 
gettiic^ more and more difficult every day. 

•^Se interference with our work — ^which is so ruinous to our business— 
of the Commissars of the Military Revolutionary Committee is still con- 

''Theib Arbtxraet Acta, iVkeVt axmulUng of our orders. Mat Lkad to a 



**Seal8 have been afixed to one of the cold storages where the meat and 
butter destined for the peculation are kept, and we cannot regulate the 
temperature so «hat thb paoDucrs would xot be spoilt. 

**One carload of potatoes and one carload of cabbages have been seized 
and carried away no one knows where to. 

*K!!argoes which are not liable to requisition (khaha) are requisitioned 
by tlie Commissars and, as was the case one day, five boxes ot khaha were 
seiied by tlie Commissar for his own use. 


appointed Commissars do not allow the cargoes to be taken out, and ter- 
rorise our employees, threatening them with arrest 


fiom the dok, feou slbebia^ from votokeeh akd other places people 
are refusiko to sekd flour akd bread. 

'This cakkot oo ok much lokoer. 

*Vrhe work is simply falling out of our hands. 

^HDuR Durr is to let the population know of this. 

**T0 the last possibility we will remain on guard of the interests of 
the population. 


* « « • 



There were nineteen tickets in Petrograd. The results are as foQowSy 
published November 30th: 

Party VoU 

Populist Sodaiists 19,100 

Cadets 845,006 

Christian Democnits 8,707 

Bolaheviki. 424,027 

Socialist Universalists 158 

S. D. and S. R. Ukrainean and Jewish Workers 4,219 

League of Wcnnen's Bights 5,310 

Socialist Revolutionaries (pbonmtst) 4,696 

Left Socialist Revohitionaries 152,230 

Lea^e of the People's Development 885 

Radical Democrats 418 

Orthodox Parishes 24,189 

Feminine League for Salvation of Country 818 

Independent Leagued Workers, Soldiers, Peasants.. . 4,942 

Christian Democrats (Catholic) 14,882 

Unified Social Democrats 11»740 

Mensheviki 17,427 

Yediiui90 group 1,828 

League of Cooiack Troops 6,712 




^ou are being deceived. You are being incited asainst the People. 
You are told that the Soviets of Workers', Soldiers' and Peasants' Depu- 
ties are your enemies, that they want to take away your Cossack land, your 
Cossack 'liberty.' Don't believe it, Cossacks. • . • Your own GeneraU awl 
landowners are deceiving you, in order to keep yoM Vn ^«itVxves& wsi^ ^«?i«:^. 


We, the Council of People's Commissars^ address ourselves to you, Cossacks, 
with these words. Read them attentively and Judge yourselves whidi is the 
truth and which is cruel deceit. The life and service of a Coosadc were 
always bondage and penal servitude. At the first call ot the authorities a 
Cossack always had to saddle his horse and ride out on campaign. All his 
military equipment a Cossack had to provide with his own hardly earned 
means. A Cossack is on service, his farm is going to rack and ruin. Is 
such a condition fair? No, it must be alter^ for ever. Thb Cossacks 
MUST BE FBEED FKOM BOKDAOE. The ucw People's Soviet power Is wiUing 
to come to the assistance of the toiling CossacKS. It is only necessanr that 
the Cossaclcs themselves should resolve to abolish the old order, that tfaev 
should refuse submission to their slave-driver oflkers, land-owners, ridb 
men, that they should throw off the cursed yoke from tiieir necks. Arise, 
Cossacks I Unite I The Council of People's Commissars calls, upon you to 
enter a new, fresh, more happy life. 

'*In November and December in Petrograd there were All-Russian Con- 
gresses of Soviets of Soldiers', Workers', and Peasants' Deputies. . Thne 
Congresses transferred all the authority in the different localities Into the 
hands of the Soviets, i.e., into the hands of men elected by the People. 
From now on there must be in Russia no rulers or functionaries who 
command the People from above and drive them. The People create tiie 
authority themselves. A General has no more rights than a soldier. All 
are equal. Consider, Cossacks, Is this wrong or right? We are calling 
upon you, Cossacks, to Join this new order and to create your own Soriets 
of Cossacks' Deputies. To such Soriets all the power must belong In the 
different localities. Not to hetmans with the rank of General, but to tiie 
elected representatives of the toiling Cossacks, to your own trustworthy 
reliable men. 

'The All-Russian Congresses of Soldiers', Workers', and Peasants' Depu- 
ties have passed a resolution to transfer all landowners' land into the pos- 
session of the toiling people. Is not that fair, Cossacks? The Komllovs, 
Kaledins, Dutovs, Karaulovs, Bardiches, all defend with their whole souls 
the interests of the rich men, and they are ready to drown Russia in blood 
If only the lands remain in the hands of the landowners. But you, the 
toiling Cossacks, do not you suffer yourselves from poverty, oppression and 
lack of land? How many Cossacks are there who have more tiian 4-6 
deaiiatifu per head? But the landowners, who have tiiousands of detiiaiini 
of their own land, wish besides to get into their hands the lands of the 
Cossack Army. According to the new Soviet laws, the lands of Cossadc 
landowners must pass without compensation into the huids of the Cossack | 
workers, the poorer Cossacks. You are being told that the Soviets wish I 
to take away your lands from you. Who is frightening you? The rich 
Cossacks, who know that the Soviet AUTHORirr wishes to transfer the land- 
owners' lands to you. Choose then, Cossacks, for whom will you stand: for 
the Kornilovs and Kaledins, for the Generals and rich men, or for the 
Soviets of Peasants', Soldiers', Workers' and Cossacks' Deputies. 

''The Council of People's Commissars elected by the All-Russlan Con- 

All the capitalists, landowners, Generals-Kornilorists have risen against the 
peaceful policy of the Soviets. The war was bringing them profits, povrer, 
distinctions. And to you, Cossack privates? You were perishing without 
reason, without purpose, like your brothers-soldiers and sailors. It will soon « 
be three years and a half that this accursed war has gone on, a war derised I 
by the capitalists and landowners of all countries for their own profit, thdr ' 
world robberies. To the toiling Cossacks the war has only brought ruin ( 
and death. The war has drained all the resources from Cossack farm life. 
The only salvation for tlie wYko\^ ot oxxx cAuutry and for the Cossacks in 


particular is a prompt and honest peace. The Council of People's Commis* 
sars has declared to all Governments and peoples: We do not want 
other people's property, and we do not wish to give away our own. Peace 
without annexations and without indemnities. Every nation must decide 
its own fate. There must be no oppressing of one nation by anotlier. 
Such is the honest, democratic. People's peace which the Council of People's 
Commissars is proposing to all Governments, to all peoples, allies and 
enemies. And the results are visible: Ok the Russian Fbont ak armistice 


'The soldier's and the Cossack's blood is not flowing there any more. 
Now, Cossacks, decide: do you wish to continue this ruinous, senseless, 
criminal slaughter? Then support the Cadets, the enemies of the people, 
support Tchernov, Tseretelli, Skobeliev, who drove you into the offensive of 
July 1st; support Kornilov, who introduced capital punishment for soldiers 
and Cossacks at the front. But if you wish a prompt and honest peace^ 


''Your fate, Cossacks, lies in your own hands. Our common foes, the 
landowners, capitalists, officers-Kornilovists, bourgeois newspapers, are 
deceiving you and driving you along the road to ruin. In Orenburg, Dutov 
has arrested the Soviet and disarmed the garrison. Kaledin is threatening 
the Soviets in the province of the Don. He has declared the province 
to be in a state of war and is assembling his troops. Karaulov is shooting 
the local tribes in the Caucasus. The Cadet bourgeoisie is supplving them 
with its millions. Their common aim is to suppress the People's Soviets, 
to crush the workers and peasants, to introduce again the discipline of the 
whip in the army, and to eternalise the bondage of the toiling Cossacks. 

*K)ur revolutionary troops are moving to the Don and the Ural in 
order to put an end to this criminal revolt against the people. The com- 
inanders of the revolutionary troops have received orders not to enter into 
any negotiations with the mutinous Generals, to act decisively and merci- 

'^Cossacks! On you depends now whether your brothers' blood is to flow 
still. We are holding out our hand to you. Join the whole people against 
its enemies. Declare Kaledin, Kornilov, Dutov, Karaulov and all their 
aiders and abettors to be the enemies of the people, traitors and betrayers. 
Arrest them with your own forces and turn them over into the hands of 
the Soviet aiUhority, which will judge them in open and public Revolution- 
ary TribunaL Cossaclcs ! Form Soviets of Cossacks' Deputies. Take into 
your toil-worn hands the management of all the affairs of the Cossacks. 
TBke away the lands of your own wealthy landowners. Take over their 

Sain, their inventoried property and live-stock for the cultivation of the 
ids of the toiling Cossacks, who are ruined by the war. 
"Forward, Cossacks, to the flght for the common cause of the people ! 
"Long live the toiling Cossacks! 

"Long live tlie union of the Cossacks, the soldiers, peasants and workers I 
"Long live the power of the Soviets of Cossacks', Soldiers', Workers' 
and Peasants' Deputies. 

"Down with the war! Down with the landowners and the Kornilovist- 
Geherals I 

"Long live Peace and tiie Brotherhood of peoples P' 

Council of People^* Commiiian. 


From the Commission on Purlic Education attached to the Central 

CiTT Duma 

"Comrades Workingmen and Workingwomeiil ^^ 

"A few days before the holidays, a sV-tVAsft \via& \se«ii ^«SS»»A \s^ ^sb^ 


teachers of the public schools. The teachers side with the bourgeoisie 
against the Worliers' and Peasants' Goreniment 

**Comrades, organise parents' committees and pass rescdutions against 
the strike of the teachers. Propose to the Ward Soviets of Worlcers' and 
Soldiers' Deputies, the Trade Unions, the Factory-Shop and Party Com- 
mittees, to organise protest meetings. Arrange with your own resources 
Christmas trees and entertainments for the children, and demand tiie 
opening of the sdiools, after the holidays, at the date whidi will be set by 
the Duma. 

''Comrades, strengthen your position in matters of public education, 
insist on the control of the proletarian organisations over the schools.** 
Commiision <m Public Education attached to the CcfUrai City Dum a > 



The notes issued by Trotsky to the Allies and to the neutral powers, as 
well as the note of the Allied military Attach^ t^' General DuUionin, 
are too voluminous to give here. Moreover they belong to another phase of 
the history of the Soviet Republic, with which this book has nothing to do — 
the foreign relations of the Soviet Government. This I treat at length in tiie 
next volume, "Komilov to Brest-Litovsk." 



**. . . The struggle for j^eace has met with the resistance of the bour- 
geoisie and the counter-revoiutionary Generals. • . • From the accounts 
El the newspapers, at the 8tacka of former Supreme Commander Dukhonin 
are gathering the agents and allies of the bourgeoisie, Verkhovski, Avksen- 
tiev, Tchernov, Gotz, Tseretelli, etc It seems even that they want to form a 
new power against the Soviets. 

"Comrades soldiers! All the persons we have mentioned hove been 
Ministers already. They have acted in accord witii Kerensky and the bour- 
geoisie. They are responsible for the offensive of July 1st and for the pro- 
longation of the war. They promised the land to the peasants and then 
arrested the Land Committees. They reestablished capital punishment for 
soldiers. They obey tihe orders of French, English and American finan- 
ciers. . . . 

"General Dukhonin, for having refused to obey orders of the Council 
of People's Commissars, has been dismissed from his position aa Supreme 
Commander. . . . For answer he is circulating among the troops the note 
from the Military Attach^ of the Allied imperialist Powers, and attempt- 
ing to provoke a counter-revolution. . . . 

"Do not obey Dukhonin! Pay no attention to his provocation! Watch 
him and his group of counter-revolutionary Generals carefully. • • .** 



Order Number Two 

**. • . The ex-Supreme Commander, General Dukhonin, for having op- 
posed resistance to the execution of orders, for criminal action susceptible 
of provoking a new civil war, is declared enemy of the People. All persons 
who support Dukhonin will be arrested, without respect to their social or 
political position or their past. Persons equipped with special authority 
win operate these aiTests. 1 e\^t^e General Manikhovsky with the execu- 
tion of the above-mentioned ^«^o%\\Xoiv^ 

1% * % * 



iNsnuTcnoK to peasants 

In answer to the numerous enquiries coming from peasants, it is herebjr 
explained that the whole power in the country is from now on held by the 
Soviets of the Worlters*, Soldiers', and Peasants' Deputies. The Workers' 
Revolution, after having conquered in Petrograd and in Moscow, is now 
conquering in all other centres of Russia. The Workers' and Peasants' 
Government safeguards the interests of the masses of peasantry, the poor- 
est of them; it is with the majority of peasants and workers against the 
landowners, and against the capitalists. 

Hence the Soviets of Peasants' Deputies, and before all the District 
Soviets, and subsequently those of the Provinces, are from now on and 
until the Constituent Assembly meets, full-powered bodies of State au- 
thority in their localities. All landlords' titles to the land are cancelled by 
the second AH-Russian Congress of Soviets. A decree regarding the land 
has already been issued by the present Provisional Workers' and Peasants' 
Government. On the basis of the above decree all lands hitherto belonging 
to landlords now pass entirely and wholly into the hands of the Soviets of 
Peasants' Deputies. The Volost (a group of several villages forms a 
Volost) Land Committees are immediately to take over all land from the 
landlords, and to keep a strict account over it, watching that order be main- 
tained, and that the whole estate be well guarded, seeing that from now 
on all private estates become public property and must therefore be pro- 
tected by the people themselves. 

All orders given by the Volost Land Committees, adopted with the assent 
of the District Soviets of Peasants' Deputies, in fulfilment of the decrees 
issued by the revolutionary power, are absolutely legal and are to be forth- 
with and irrefutably brought into execution. 

The Workers' and Peasants' Government appointed by the second All- 
Russian Congress of Soviets has received the name of the Council of Peo- 
ple's Commissars. 

The Council of People's Commissars summons the Peasants to take the 
whole power into their hands in every locality. 

The workers will in every way absolutely and entirely support the 
peasants, arrange for them all that is required in connection with madiines 
and tools, and in return they request the peasants to help with the trans- 
port of grain. 

President of the Council of People^s Commissars^ 

V. uijANOv (Leihk), 

Petrograd, November 18th, 1917. 


The full-powered Congress of Peasants' Soviets met about a week later, 
and continued for several weeks. Its history is merely an expanded version 
of the history of the "Extraordinary Conference." At first the great ma- 
jority of the delegates were hostile to the Soviet Government, and supported 
the reactionary wing. Several days later the assembly was supporting the 
moderates wiili Tchernov. And several days after that the vast majority 
of the Confess were voting for the faction of Maria Spiridonova, and 
sending their representatives into the Tsay-ee-kah at Smdny. . V . The 
Right Wing- then waUced out of the Congress and called a Congress of its 
own, which went on, dwindling from day to day, until it finally dis- 
solved. . . , 

UG 1 5 1944 



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